Waldron, Lawrence G.

(1911 - 2000)

Born on May 15, 1911 in Walla Walla, Lawrence Galen Waldron grew up just over the Washington State border in Umapine, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Washington in 1936 with a Bachelor of Architecture, he worked for a variety of architects including William Bain, Archibald N. Torbitt, and George W. Stoddard.

In 1947, Waldron opened his own independent practice which primarily focused on residential commissions. In 1953 he formed a partnership with fellow architect Robert Dietz. Together, the firm of Waldron & Dietz (1952-1967) quickly became an award winning firm. During their tweleve-year partnership, the firm was recognized for its outstanding work by the local chapter of the AIA with five honor awards and one merit award.

Notable projects by the firm include A-frame Emmanuel Episcopal Church (1960) on Mercer Island, the Taskett Agency Office Building (1955) in Seattle, an AIA award winner, and a sunroom addition to the University of Washington President’s House.

The firm specialized in schools, many of which were featured in a variety of architectural journals. Among their best-known schools are Woodway Elementary School (1956), Edmonds High School (1959), and Olympic School (1966)—all in Edmonds; Chinook Jr. High School (1958), Crestview Elementary School (1960), and Normandy Park Elementary School (1954) in Seattle; Meridian Jr. High School (1958) and Covington Elementary School (1961) in Kent; and Olympic View Jr. High School (1957) in Mukilteo.

Other projects include the Alvin Merendio House (1961); the Machenheimer Building (1959); Sacajawea Elementary School (1959) in Seattle; and Norkirk Elementary School (1957) in Kirkland. The firm also did work on numerous community college campuses including Edmonds Community College, for which the firm designed all of the campus's major buildings, beginning with the award-winning Master Plan in 1965.

Waldron was active in a variety of community and professional endeavors, including serving on the University of Washington and City of Mercer Island Architectural Commissions, the Seattle Central Association, and the Seattle Municipal League. For the Seattle AIA he served as Treasurer and President (1959) and was AIA Washington Council's first President in 1961.

In 1969, Waldron was elected to the AIA College of Fellows for his distinguished contributions to the profession. He retired in 1980 and moved to Arizona, where he died on October 27, 2000 at the age of 89. After Waldron’s departure, the firm’s name was changed to Waldron, Pomeroy, Smith, Foote & Akira Architects in 1982.

- Michael C. Houser

Photo courtesy of Department of Architectural Licensing.
Normandy Park School, Kirkland (1954)<br>Photo courtesy of UW Special Collections
Chinook Jr. High School, Seattle (1958)<br>Photo courtesy of UW Special Collections
Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Mercer Island (1960)<br>Photo courtesy of UW Special Collections
Schmitz Hall - UW, Seattle (1970)<br>Photo courtesy of UW
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Photo courtesy of Department of Architectural Licensing.