Archive for the ‘News of Members’ Category

The Marion Dean Ross chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians is pleased to offer the 2015 Elisabeth Walton Potter Research Award.  The purpose of the EWP Research Award is to further awareness and knowledge of the architectural heritage of the Pacific Northwest.  Awards range from $500 and $2000 in any given year and are awarded to from one to several recipients per year.  Applications for the award are due by September 15, 2015.  Recipients of the EWP award are expected to make a presentation on their research at the following year’s Society of Architectural Historians Marion Dean Ross conference.  This year the SAH MDR conference will be held in Ashland, Oregon, October 23-25, 2015.  For an application form and more information, go to:  http://www.sahmdr.org/awards.html

In 2013, the EWP award provided assistance with two research projects.  One award was given to Professor Anne Marshall for her paper entitled, “Indigenous Architecture: Creating the Museum At Warm Springs,” and one was awarded to independent consultant Liz Carter for her research, “Mid-Nineteenth Century Dwelling of Oregon Black Pioneers: A Brief Historical Context.”  In 2014 the EWP Award went to a team at Washington State University headed by J. Philip Gruen and Robert Redder Franklin who are preparing entries for the national Society of Architectural Historians’ (SAH) Archipedia Project.

A Note for Applicants

The selection committee is open to a wide range of proposals.  It has supported research in its initial phases, research that is well in progress and proposals from emerging scholars as well as established professionals.  The core requirements are that the research focuses on the Pacific Northwest and that the applicant is a member of the SAH MDR.  Student membership is free, while general membership costs a nominal $15 ($12.50 if you’re already a member of the national SAH).  Applications for the Potter Award that are submitted by non-members will not be reviewed.  So, sign up at http://www.sahmdr.org/membership.html.  If you’re unsure about your membership status, send a message to info@sahmdr.org.

About the 2014 Award Recipients

Pacific Science Center and Space Needle (mostly Yamasaki, 1962) Seattle, WA. Photo by D. Pinyerd.

Pacific Science Center and Space Needle (mostly Yamasaki, 1962) Seattle, WA. Photo by D. Pinyerd.

The SAH Archipedia is essentially an online version of the venerable, but slow to be released, Buildings of the United States series of books published under the auspices of the SAH.  In contrast with other online resources, such as Wikipedia, Archipedia entries have a more certain pedigree and are guaranteed to be written and reviewed by experts in the field of architectural history.  The Potter Award will help the Washington State University team provide small stipends to researchers who will produce descriptions, analysis, photography, and data regarding Washington’s 100 most significant works of architecture for the free online resource entitled “SAH Archipedia Classic Buildings.”  Greater depth, and entries beyond the initial 100 is available to subscribers and members of the SAH.

According to Gruen’s and Franklin’s Potter Award application:

“The Washington Archipedia builds upon earlier research for the SAH Buildings of the United States series, compiled originally by members of the SAH/MDR chapter.  That work drew upon the 1940 state census—before the post-World War Two urban population boom when rural areas featured a greater percentage of the state’s population—to help ensure more equitable geographic coverage that otherwise might be dominated by the architecture of cities bordering the Puget Sound.  While including many significant works of architecture from those cities (such as Seattle and Tacoma), the Washington Archipedia project will proceed in the spirit of the older survey, thereby ensuring that nearly every county or region of the state finds representation. This also will allow for a potentially wider array of building typologies.

B Reactor (credited to E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 1943-44), Hanford, WA. Photo by B. Niederer.

B Reactor (credited to E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 1943-44), Hanford, WA. Photo by B. Niederer.

The contract specifies for 100 individual entries of between 250 and 2,000 words, but it does not delineate criteria for what constitutes “significance”—historical or otherwise.  While many buildings, landscapes, and districts targeted for this project will be fifty years of age or older and designed by notable architects (there will, of course, be many entries focusing on the older architectural heritage of the state), the Washington Archipedia project is not intended to be an online guidebook with little more than names, dates, and “historical facts.”  To help readers understand the architecture of the Pacific Northwest, the project coordinators will occasionally push the traditional limits of “historic significance” by including buildings, landscapes, and districts whose importance lies in their stories, events, memories, or ideas—not strictly in their aesthetics, styles, or fame of their designers.  We feel that greater understanding comes from approaches that often extend well beyond the proverbial bricks and mortar of buildings.

To that end, a cultural landscape approach to the built environment may occasionally be appropriate.  This will permit analysis, interpretation, and justification for sites as diverse as the Parkade in Spokane; the Freeway Park in Seattle; the B Reactor at Hanford Reach; and the plan of Longview.  As the architecture of the Pacific Northwest has gained a widespread reputation for its pioneering efforts in “green” and sustainable design, landmarks in energy conservation and renewable materials also will find a place in the Washington Archipedia, from Mithun’s Island Wood on Bainbridge Island to Miller|Hull’s Bullitt Center in Seattle.  Washington might be among the last states to join the Archipedia project, but we intend it to be progressive and up-to-date in its subject matter and approach.  We hope it will set a standard for online architectural archives.”

Gamwell House (Longstaff & Black, 1890), Bellingham, WA. Photo by B. Niederer.

Gamwell House (Longstaff & Black, 1890), Bellingham, WA. Photo by B. Niederer.

The selection committee of the MDR SAH was impressed by both the scope of the Washington Archipedia project, as well as the applicants’ thoughtful approach toward the subject, particularly the question of what constitutes “significance.”  To that end, Phil Gruen composed a lengthy blog post for the SAH, titled “Washington State Slept Here: SAH Archipedia and the Question of Significance.”  Are you curious about what the WSU team has tagged as significant?  A draft list is available by clicking Washington State Archipedia 100!  The finalized Washington State contribution to Archipedia is set to go live during the summer of 2016.  As of August 2015, entries for 19 states, including the District of Columbia can be perused at http://sah-archipedia.org/.


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I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Amanda Clark as our new vice president!  This is exciting because 1) the post has been vacant for about a year, and 2) Amanda will be a great addition to our team!  Here is an excerpt from her ‘position statement’: “Amanda C. Roth Clark, the daughter of professor and architectural historian Leland M. Roth, grew up hearing about architecture at her father’s knee as he read books to her about Frank Lloyd Wright.”  Clark has a BA degree from the University of Oregon, with a minor in architecture, and an MA from U of O with a thesis that focused on French Neoclassical architecture.  She also holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in Communications and Library Science, and is now the Director of the Library at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA.  Amanda co-authored the third edition of Understanding Architecture with her father, and is presently collaborating with him to produce an updated edition of American Architecture.  We met Amanda and her husband Tony Clark at the annual meeting in Seattle.  If you didn’t get a chance to meet her then, please welcome her next time we get together!

Members touring the Wing Luke Museum during our 2014 conference in Seattle.  Amanda Clark can be found at the head of the table.  Photo by B. Niederer

Members touring the Wing Luke Museum during our 2014 conference in Seattle. Amanda Clark can be found at the head of the table. Photo by Bernadette Niederer.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce the rest of the board and provide an update on what they’ve been doing (and for the basics see our website: http://www.sahmdr.org/).

  • Bernadette Niederer is our faithful Secretary, a duty she performs with great value-added verve and wit.  She is also our blog editor, so the person to contact if you’ve got something to post.  She is a graduate of the University of Oregon Historic Preservation program and is an associate at Historic Preservation Northwest in Albany.  She and Dave Pinyerd are at present writing a National Register nomination for the Andrew Jackson Masters house, an 1853 residence that is being restored.
  • Mimi Sheridan is our Treasurer and also served as our conference lead for the 60th anniversary conference in Seattle last year.  Not only did she organize an outstanding conference, by all accounts, she arranged for excellent weather.  Most recently Mimi, principal of the Sheridan Consulting Group, has been conducting a survey of 1250 properties in the Montlake area of Seattle.
Tudor Revival House in Montlake neighborhood, photo by Mimi Sheridan

Tudor Revival House in Montlake neighborhood, photo by Mimi Sheridan

  • Our Regional Delegate for Canada is Harold Kalman, from Vancouver, BC.  Hal is retired from consulting but continues to focus on part-time teaching (in Hong Kong) and writing.  In 2012 he published Exploring Vancouver.  More information can be found at http://www.haroldkalman.ca/
  • Our Regional Delegate for Idaho is Phillip Mead.  Phil is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Architecture Program at the University of Idaho.  He is a past president of SAH MDR and has for the last several years done an excellent job of coordinating our conference’s paper sessions.  Phil is currently working with U of I colleagues to document historical buildings in Idaho for the Society of Architectural Historians on-line database of historic properties Archipedia.
  • Our Regional Delegate for Oregon is immediate past president Edward Teague.  Ed is the head of the Architecture and Allied Arts Library at the University of Oregon, a position he has held since 2001.  He holds degrees in Art History and Library Science.
  • Our Regional Delegate for Washington in Philip Gruen.  Phil is Interim Director of the School of Design and Construction at Washington State University and has recently published Manifest DestinationsHe is the lead for the Washington State Archipedia Project.
Weyerhauser HQ

The Weyerhauser Headquarters in Federal Way will be featured in Washington’s Archipedia. Photo courtesy the Seattle Times.

  •  Our Membership Coordinator and Website Manager is David Pinyerd.  Dave, another graduate of the University of Oregon Historic Preservation Program, is a founder of Historic Preservation Northwest in Albany.  Dave fulfills his duties, in part, by keeping us organized with humor and grace.
  • Lastly, I am National Register Coordinator with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office.  A lingering project from my consulting life is a 300-property survey of Sonoma Valley, for the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation and Sonoma County Landmarks Commission.  A recent activity is presenting a paper on Regional Modernism on the West Coast at the Society of Architectural Historians Australia/New Zealand conference last summer.

We look forward to seeing you in Ashland next fall!  Although it will be hard to top Seattle, we’ll do our best to bring you another great conference!

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by Elisabeth Walton Potter (May 26, 2014)

Leonard Kimball Eaton, Professor of Architecture Emeritus, University of Michigan, and prominent member of the Society of Architectural Historians, died at Newport, Oregon, April 1, 2014, at the age of ninety-two.  From the time Professor Eaton relocated from Ann Arbor to the central Oregon coast with his wife, the former Ann Valentine White, in the 1990s, he became a regular contributor to annual conference programs of the Pacific Northwest regional chapter.


Left: Professor Eaton took the podium during the annual conference of the Marion Dean Ross Chapter, SAH, at Oregon State University in 2007 to present his paper, “A New Application of Kenneth J. Conant’s Ideogram.”  For thirty-five years, Conant, the distinguished Harvard University architectural historian, inspired students, Eaton among them, with his lectures.  The Society of Architectural Historians was organized at Harvard by faculty and students in the summer session of 1940.  E. Potter photo, Oct. 13, 2007.

The native of Minneapolis, Minnesota was a 1943 graduate cum laude of Williams College at the time he entered the U.S. Army in World War II.  He was awarded the bronze star and other decorations for his service as an infantry medic with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy’s   mountainous combat zone.  At the war’s end, he pursued his post-graduate education and earned both Master’s degree and a Ph.D. (American Civilization, 1951) at Harvard University.

His teaching career was centered at the University of Michigan from 1950 to 1988.  He retired as Emil Lorch Professor of Architecture in the University’s College of Architecture and Urban Planning and was accorded emeritus status by the University in 1989.  His thirty-nine years of teaching architectural history were interspersed with prestigious research fellowships, including Fulbright fellowships for study in Denmark and The Netherlands.  He fulfilled visiting professorships at Wayne State University, the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and Michigan State University.  In 1985, he was awarded the Frederic Lindley Morgan Chair of Architectural Design at the University of Louisville.

Building technology, the Chicago School, and Frank Lloyd Wright were areas of expertise among his broad disciplinary interests.  He produced a steady stream of scholarly articles and book reviews for publications such as Progressive Architecture, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and Urban History Review.  In post-teaching years, he enjoyed the diversion of writing commentaries on topics of the day in light verse.  The chapbooks were sent at regular intervals to friends who were cheered to receive them.  Over the arc of his career he wrote half a dozen books.  Gateway Cities and Other Essays was brought out by Iowa State University Press in 1989 as part of the Great Plains environmental design series. Two Chicago Architects and Their Clients:  Frank Lloyd Wright and Howard Van Doren Shaw, 1969, and American Architecture Comes of Age:  European Reaction to H.H. Richardson and Louis Sullivan, 1972, were published by M.I.T. Press.  His acclaimed biography, Hardy Cross: American Engineer, was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2006.

Professor Eaton joined the Society of Architectural Historians early in his teaching career (1952).  He was a member of the board of directors (1957-1958), served as book review editor of JSAH (1967-1969), and headed Michigan’s Saarinen Chapter in 1982-1983.  Two of the papers which he read before the Marion Dean Ross/Pacific Northwest Chapter, namely, “Fractal Geometry in the Late Work of Frank Lloyd Wright” (1993) and “Music, Math, and Modules in Wright’s [Art Glass] Windows” (1995), were subsequently developed for publication in the Nexus series of books on architecture and mathematics (Vol. II, 1998; Vol. III, 2000).  “Hardy Cross and the Moment Distribution Method:  An Oregon Application in the Work of Pietro Belluschi” (2001) was the paper that took ultimate form as the above-named monograph illuminating the career of an influential American engineer-theoretician.

A festschrift, Modern Architecture in America:  Visions and Revisions, the collection of essays by former students edited by Richard Guy Wilson and Sidney K. Robinson, was published in Professor Eaton’s honor by Iowa State University Press in 1991.

Professor Eaton is survived by his wife, Ann, now of Santa Cruz, California, and children of his first marriage to Carrol Kuehn.  They  are Mark R. Eaton of Alexandria, Virginia, and Elisabeth K. Eaton of Brookfield, Wisconsin.  His three stepchildren are Kenneth White, Alexandra White of Santa Cruz, and Pamela Kemp of Mauzac, France.

hardy_cross Left:  For the dust-jacket cover illustration of his biography of Hardy Cross, Professor Eaton chose an Oregon Historical Society photograph of Portland’s 1948 Equitable Building by Pietro Belluschi.  In the period before digital computation, Cross’s method of mathematical calculation for engineering continuous rigid structural frames of reinforced concrete was applied in the design of tall buildings such as Belluschi’s early post-war, aluminum-clad masterwork.


Mark R. Eaton, obituary for the online newspaper Ann Arbor News, April 9 to April 13, 2014.

Leonard K. Eaton, Curriculum Vitae c. 1998, Archive of the Marion Dean Ross Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries.

Biographical and Collection Notes, Finding Aid for Leonard K. Eaton Papers, 1950-2004, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

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Don Peting in action during the 2013 SAH MDR Conference in Salem.

Don Peting in action during the 2013 SAH MDR Conference in Salem.

Marion Dean Ross Chapter member Don Peting is the 2014 recipient of the George McMath Award for excellence in historic preservation.  Past recipients of the award include William J. Hawkins (2013), Hal S. Ayotte (2012), Elisabeth Walton Potter (2011), Cathy Galbraith (2010), and James Hamrick (2009).

Established by the University of Oregon in conjunction with Venerable, Inc. in 2009, the McMath Award celebrates a leader in the field who has made significant contributions to historic preservation in the state of Oregon.  The award is named for George McMath, FAIA, who is considered one of the fathers of the preservation movement in Portland.

In 1998 I was looking for a change in scenery and decided to attend that year’s Pacific Northwest Preservation Field School, run by Don Peting, at Fort Stevens.  Don turned out to be one of the most interesting people I’d met, with an astounding depth and breadth of knowledge, bottomless curiosity, an ability to explain complex technologies to even the most lunk-headed former liberal arts majors, and patience.  On top of everything else, he was more fun than a barrel of monkeys.  A year later I was enrolled in the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Oregon.  In other words, I may be slightly biased when I say that Don Peting is the preeminent preservation educator in the West.

Don arrived at the University of Oregon in 1963, with a freshly minted Master’s Degree in Architecture from Cal Berkeley.  With the exception of a few sabbaticals, one of which lead to his receiving the Rome Prize, he continued teaching full-time (in actuality more like double-time) until his retirement in 2002.  He was instrumental, together with Marian Card Donnelly, Philip Dole, and Michael Schellenbarger, in getting the U of O’s Historic Preservation Program off the ground in 1980.  In 1995, under Don’s direction, the HP Program was expanded with a summer field school.  While this allowed students enrolled in the program to gain extended hands-on experience, it also served to introduce professionals working in related fields as well as interested amateurs to historic preservation practices.  In the course of 19 field schools, with the 20th in the works, projects have ranged throughout the Pacific Northwest, meaning Don and his disciples have crawled over and under structures in Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho.  Like the Preservation Program itself, the field school is interdisciplinary and cooperates with multiple local, state, and federal agencies.  As a result of this, end of session group photos tend to be a who’s who of preservation practice, often with the students of one year subsequently reappearing as instructors.  This is also an illustration of how hard it is to resist the siren song of Don, because you know that whatever happens, you will learn something new and you will have a good time.

The McMath Awards Luncheon will take place on Wednesday, May 14 2014 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the White Stag Block in Portland.  Tickets are available through the University of Oregon Ticket Office.
At present, tickets for the event are SOLD OUT.   For information about possible openings contact Crissy Lindsey (clindsey@uoregon.edu) or Liz Jacoby (ejacoby@uoregon.edu)


Gerdes, Marti.  ”Don Peting to Receive McMath Award.”  News from A&AA, March 2014.  Available online at http://hp.uoregon.edu/news/don-peting-receive-2014-mcmath-award

More on the 2014 Pacific Northwest Preservation Field School at Fisher Bottoms in Eastern Idaho at http://hp.uoregon.edu/pnwfs.


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Keith Eggener has joined the University of Oregon’s Department of Art and Architectural History as the Marion Dean Ross Distinguished Chair in Architectural History.  Eggener, a native of Portland, Oregon, received his PhD in art history from Stanford University. Before joining the University of Oregon, he taught at Carleton  College, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and the University of Missouri.  Eggener has authored the books  Luis Barragán’s Gardens of El Pedregal and Cemeteries, and has published book chapters and articles on Mexican and American art and architecture. Formerly Associate Editor of the Buildings of the United States series,  Eggener is currently Contributing Editor to Places: Forum of Design for the Public Realm and Book Review Editor for the  Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.

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Those of you in the Seattle area can take advantage of two lectures on Seattle’s architectural history by Chapter member Jeffrey Ochsner.  Part 1, covering the years from 1880-1935 will take place on Saturday, April 13, from 1:00-3:00 pm.  Part 2, spanning 1935 to the current era will be presented on Saturday, April 20th, also from 1:00-3:00 pm.  The lectures will take place at Seattle’s Central Library, in the Microsoft Auditorium on Level 1.
April 13:  Part 1, 1880-1935

Explore the development of Seattle’s architectural style during the city’s early growth. Important early architects, major stylistic directions and a range of building types will also be covered.

This lecture includes early 20th-century development in:
– downtown Seattle
– residential neighborhoods
– public and private institutions
– urban open spaces

April 20: Part 2, 1935 to present
Examine the origins and development of modern buildings’ architectural forms and styles.

This lecture includes:
– urban development and planning
– the works of notable architects and architectural firms in Seattle

Ochsner has taught at the University of Washington for over 24 years. He has written and edited five books, along with numerous articles, addressing Seattle’s architectural and urban history.

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Bill Hawkins leads a tour of the Skidmore District's cast-iron storefronts during the 2009 MDR/SAH conference in Portland.

Bill Hawkins leads a tour of the Skidmore District’s cast-iron storefronts during the 2009 MDR/SAH conference in Portland.

Marion Dean Ross Chapter member William J. Hawkins is the recipient of the George McMath Award for excellence in historic preservation.  Past recipients of the award include Hal S. Ayotte (2012), Elisabeth Walton Potter (2011), Cathy Galbraith (2010), and James Hamrick (2009).

Established by the University of Oregon in conjunction with Venerable, Inc. in 2009, the McMath Award celebrates a leader in the field who has made significant contributions to historic preservation in the state of Oregon.  The award is named for George McMath, FAIA, who is considered one of the fathers of the preservation movement in Portland.  Bill Hawkins credits part of his own shift from being a typical, modern architect influenced by Louis Kahn to becoming an active preserver of the historic built environment to George McMath, with whom he was in partnership from 1964-1994.  Working as Allen, McMath & Hawkins from the late 1960s until 1985 and as McMath & Hawkins until 1994, the firm’s name appears on countless preservation projects throughout Oregon, from the restoration of Philomath College, to Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse, to Officer’s Row at Fort Vancouver, Washington.  However, among all the firm’s projects it is one type of resource that stands out: the cast-iron storefront.  In the realm of cast-iron architecture, Bill Hawkins’ work comes closest to being a Gesamtkunstwerk, combining innovative practice with advocacy, art, research and literature.

The list of cast-iron buildings in Portland that benefited from Bill Hawkins expertise is long, from the Bishops House to the Blagen Block, to the Poppleton Building and beyond.  Most of these are now contained within the Skidmore and Yamhill Historic Districts, both of which were created thanks to the advocacy of the Portland Friends of Cast-Iron Architecture, established by Bill in 1973.  Talking about the New Market Theater, Bill said that “[i]t was pure fun to draw that beautiful façade,” (1) and his pleasure is evident in the drawings that crop up throughout his book, The Grand Era of Cast-Iron Architecture in Portland.  The inspiration of that book provided me with a blueprint for my own Master’s thesis and made countless others aware of the treasures of the city.  When I was photographing cast iron in the Yamhill District, at least one person came up to me and said:  “You know, there’s a totally awesome book about these buildings.”

The McMath Awards Luncheon will take place on Wednesday, May 15 2013 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the White Stag Block in Portland.  Tickets are available through the University of Oregon Ticket Office.

Gerdes, Marti.  “Preservation award honors Hawkins.”  News from A&AA, March 2013.  Available online at http://aaa.uoregon.edu/node/2234

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Detail of mural by Runquist Brothers

Chapter member Ed Teague presented the lecture, The Ghosts of Knight, on May 31, 2012, at the University of Oregon Libraries, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the opening of the  library designed by Ellis F. Lawrence, now known as Knight Library.

Ed surveyed the key artists and artisans responsible for the Depression Era masterpiece.  Those featured include Lawrence, Brownell Frasier, the Runquist Brothers, Edna Dunberg, Louise Pritchard, O. B. Dawson, Frederick Baker, and Frederick Cuthbert.

The presentation was recorded and can be viewed via UO Channel, by following this link:

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The Executive Board of the Marion Dean Ross Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians is pleased to announce four recipients for the first annual Elisabeth Walton Potter Research Award (EWPRA).  With several excellent proposals for review, the board elected to award the full funding requested by two applicants, with an additional two awards of merit, entailing partial funding.

Full funding was granted to Holly Taylor of Washington and Hussein Keshani of British Columbia.  Ms. Taylor’s project, Grange Halls in Washington State: Field Survey and Archival Research deals with the buildings of the 310 active granges in Washington State.  The Order of the Patrons of Husbandry, known informally as the Grange, is a national farm-based fraternal organization founded in 1867.  A variety of publications describe the founding and history of the Grange as a national organization, however little attention has been paid to the grange halls themselves.  This study will contribute to the understanding of architecture in the Pacific Northwest through documentation of building plan sources, development of a typology, and analysis of changes over time of these historic resources which continue to play an active role in many communities.

Hussein Keshani’s proposal is titled Doctrine and Design in Islamic Centers of the Pacific Northwest.  Religious architecture is a substantive part of urban landscapes. While there is considerable scholarship available on the architectural history of Christianity in North America, fewer studies focus on the architectural expressions of religious minorities such as Muslims, especially the role played by differing Islamic religious doctrines such as Sunni, Shia, and Sufi.  This project examines the role of distinct Islamic doctrines in the design and use of six contemporary, purpose-built Islamic centers in the greater Vancouver and Seattle area.  In addition to expanding the discourse on Pacific Northwest architectural history, the study hopes to address contemporary misunderstandings, and in some cases fear, of Muslims thorough a better understanding of the built environments Muslim communities create.

Tyler Sprague of Washington and Kathryn Sears of Oregon were the recipients of awards of merit.  Tyler Sprague’s research proposal, A Preservation Survey of Hyperbolic Paraboloids in the Pacific Northwest, expands on the work he presented at the MDR/SAH Annual Meeting in Boise.  Hyperbolic paraboloids are emblematic of the spirit and aspirations of the Pacific Northwest during a significant period of growth following World War II.  Most of these structures are now close to fifty years old and many are threatened by demolition due to development and changing societal needs.  This proposal seeks to better understand the architecture and engineering of the post-war era, document significant works and the personalities that were responsible for creating them, and raise a preservation-minded awareness of these distinct structures.

Katheryn Sears’ proposal is titled The Northwest School: Northwest Regional Style and the University of Oregon.  From the 1940s through the 1960s, academic architecture programs in the Pacific Northwest fostered a consistent brand of regional modernism practiced by a relatively cohesive group of architects.  Previously published materials primarily focused on education at the University of Washington and the Vancouver School of British Columbia, while relatively few have addressed the University of Oregon’s contributions to the movement.  In an effort to address this imbalance in the understanding and appreciation of the Northwest Regional Style, Ms. Sears project will combine archival research with field-based observations and interviews with educators, architects, and builders.

The MDR/SAH Board of Directors thanks all of the applicants for the first annual Elisabeth Walton Potter Research Award for their submissions and congratulates the award recipients.  We look forward to more excellent submissions in 2013 and hope to continue this program for many years to come.

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Marion Dean Ross: Legacy of a Scholar Exhibit Case

We are the Marion Dean Ross, Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.  A select few of our group remember encounters with Professor Ross, but to many of us he is a shadowy figure.  The University of Oregon is in the process of celebrating his legacy with an exhibit currently on display in the Knight Library on the University of Oregon Campus, Marion Dean Ross: Legacy of a Scholar.

Twenty years ago, newspapers in the region announced with surprise a major gift to the University of Oregon.  As the Register Guard reported:  “The gift comes from a man who never married, had no known family at the time of his death, and who never owned a car or home, preferring to rent an apartment within walking distance of campus.”  That man was Marion Dean Ross, a professor of art history at UO from 1947 to 1978.  Ross’s bequest gave the university over one million dollars for the acquisition of library material and enabled the establishment of an endowed chair for art history.

This exhibit commemorates the contributions of  Ross as a respected teacher, scholar, and benefactor.  In addition to information about him, the exhibit features models created by Ross’s students, images from books acquired through the Ross endowment, and images taken by Ross himself.   The exhibit uses QR codes to access more information, so take your phone.  A digitized recording of a 1988 lecture by Ross is a special treat.

Our Chapter President, Ed Teague has been instrumental in organizing this celebration, and in his capacity as the head of the UO Architecture and Allied Arts Library has been closely involved with the books acquired with Marion Dean Ross’ bequest.  The preceding text is his from his announcement of the exhibit opening.

In conjunction with the celebration of Marion Dean Ross’ legacy, the University of Oregon Department of Art History sponsored a lecture on Professor Ross by Dr. Leland Roth, Professor Emeritus and the first Marion Dean Ross Distinguished Chair in Architectural History.  His answer to my title query?  Marion Dean Ross: A Man Who Left a Hole in the Water.

Leland Roth’s lecture is available from the UO Channel for streaming viewing or download at:


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