Einar V. Anderson

Anderson, Einar V.

(1925 – 1970)

Seattle native Einar Vincent Anderson was born on January 22, 1925, the third son of Swedish immigrants, Emil W. and Hannah B. (Arvidsson) Anderson. Einar grew up in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1942. Upon graduation, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served during WWII rising to the level of Sergeant. After the war, Anderson returned to Seattle and entered the University of Washington on the GI Bill, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture in 1951. Anderson was a gifted student and a member of the Tau Sigma Delta architectural honorary. After graduating he served as a lieutenant in the Army during the Korean War between 1951 and 1952, and then established his own independent architectural practice (1952-1954). In the fall of 1945 he joining the architectural firm of Steinhart, Stanley & Theriault. The next year he was made a partner in 1955. After Stanley retired in 1959, the firm was renamed Steinhart, Theriault & Anderson.

Together they became one of the leading firms in the Seattle designing numerous churches, schools and community buildings across the Puget Sound area. They specialized in low-scale buildings, each unique in it’s designs and layout. The office had a small staff of six to eight, including the partners. While they maintained a policy of “a limited volume of work with personal attention to the client’s problem,” they designed a significant number of buildings over a 30-year period.

Notable educational projects by the firm include the Northeast Senior High School (1959) in Burien, Pacific Junior High School (1960) in Des Moines, Kellogg Middle School (1962) in Shoreline, Tyee High School (1964) in SeaTac, Benson Hill Elementary (1970) in Renton, and the campus of Shoreline Community College (1964-1966). Religious projects include United Presbyterian Church (1962) in Edmonds, the A-frame St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (1962) in Seattle at the south base of Queen Anne, Glendale Evangelical Lutheran Church (1967) in Burien, Calvary Lutheran Church (1963) in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood, and John Knox Presbyterian Church (c. 1965) in Normandy Park.

The partnership may be best known for the design of their own office, an Meisian-style building (1959) in the Eastlake neighborhood (1264 Eastlake Avenue). The 40’ x 28’ steel frame structure is clad with redwood slats that act as screens, and cantilevers some 14’ from the hillside above a stone clad base. Situated on a highly visible site, it offer a dramatic expression to many passing motorists and pedestrians.

Other notable projects by the firm include the Normandy Park Cove Community Center (1960) in Normandy Park, the former Seattle Library Broadview Branch (1967) and Burien Library (c. 1968), the Swedish Club (1960) in Seattle, and the 400 Shopping Arcades Building (1965) in Burien.

In a blow to the partners, Anderson passed away suddenly at the age of 45 in March of 1970. Upon his death, the firm continued to operate until 1985 under the name Steinhart, Theriault & Associates. In 1985 the firm added a new partner, John Courage, and continued to operate under the name of Steinhart Theriault & Courage.

– Michael C Houser

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