Clifton J. Brady

Brady, Clifton J.

(1894 – 1963)

Architect Clifton James Brady was born in Walker, Iowa, on October 16, 1894. A gifted student, he reportedly concentrated on the Greek classics and the sciences while attending Central High School in Sioux City. He received his formal architectural education from Iowa State College (Iowa State University), graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in structure design in 1917. Upon graduation he was drafted into the Army and served during World War I (1917-19).

After the war, Brady became an inspector for the Beuttler & Arnold architectural firm in Sioux City, Iowa (1919-1924). Around 1927 he moved to Seattle and became chief inspector and specification writer for Seattle architect Floyd Naramore (1927-1931). Brady became licensed to practice architecture in Washington the following year and left Naramore to take a job as the Chief Architectural Examiner for the federal government’s Public Works Administration (PWA) Washington State Office (1933-1937). When the PWA program ended, Brady returned to private practice and rejoined Naramore in 1938, this time as an equal partner.

During World War II, in an effort to win more government contacts, Naramore and Brady partnered with other architects to bid on large design for construction contracts. A partnership with architects William J. Bain and Perry Johanson was so successful that the two firms decided to join forces, creating a new firm thereafter known as Naramore, Bain, Brady & Johanson (NBBJ).

NBBJ pursued large military and institutional projects during and after the war. These included a number of elementary and high school projects, barracks, headquarters, hangars and administration buildings for the U.S. and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and various buildings for The Boeing Company. As was typical in large firms, the design work was shared among the partners. Using his expertise, Brady took often took on structural issues and specification writing. His principal design projects include King County Central Blood Bank (1945, demolished); Holy Rosary Parish Convent, Seattle (1948); American Legion Building (1949); Seattle’s Veterans Hospital (1950 with McClelland & Jones); Health Sciences building on the University of Washington campus (1950); Federal Reserve Bank in Seattle (1951); Wenatchee Jr. College campus (1951-53, with Alvin S. Erickson, Wenatchee); Seattle Public Safety Building (1951); several structures at the Naval Air Base Whidbey Island (1951-1955); the State Cerebral Palsy Building in Buckely (1954); Seattle’s Susan J. Henry Memorial Library (1954, demolished); the I. Magnin Store in downtown Seattle (1954); and Medina Elementary School in Bellevue (1957).

Brady served as Vice President of the Seattle Chapter of the AIA in 1949 and served as AIA President in 1950. He died in Seattle in June 9, 1963.

– Michael C Houser

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