Robert E. Cooper

Cooper, Robert E.

(1919 – 2010)

Architect Robert E. Cooper was born in Seattle on November 14, 1919. While his formal education is unknown, he made a profound and lasting impact during his 55+ year career. He served in the US Navy during WWII and received his architect license in 1956.

The previous year Cooper had formed a partnership with Phillip C. Sawers (1955-1962). Together, the two quickly rose to prominence designing several high-end custom homes, many of which received local and regional press. These included the Ben Smith House (1958), an all steel-framed house on Beacon Hill designed to maximize views to the west; and the high-end, Miesian style, steel-framed Herbert Gottschalk House (1962) on Mercer Island which utilized twelve tons of steel to cantilever some 16’ over a ravine.

Other projects included a custom home for builder Robert F. Snow (1959) in Seattle; a home for builder William H. Johannesen (1959) in the Woodridge neighborhood; a custom home for builders Donald & Caroll Burkhard (1960) in Lake City; the North City Furniture Co. Store (1962); and the Kirkland Post Office (1962).

Around 1963, Cooper and Sawers parted ways. Cooper continued an independent practice, which increasingly became specialized in apartment designs. Projects during this time in his career included the Lakevue Apartments (1964) in Lake Forest Park; the Securities Mortgage Co. Building (1964); the Crestvue Apartments (1966) in Seattle; Meadowbrook Apartments (1965) in Seattle; 2341 NE 55th St. Apartments (1965); Village West Apartments (1968) in West Seattle; and the Park Sheridan Apartments (1968) in Seattle.

He frequently worked for builder/owner A.J. Mullally in Seattle and designed several appartments for him.  Porjects include the Town & Country Apartments (1964); 2007 Boylston Ave. Apartments (1965); Executive Estate Apartments (1966); and the Lake House Apartments (1968).

Othernotable projects by Cooper include a custom home for builder Stewart Deibert (1964) in Kirkland; a custom home for builder Eugene Willard (1965), an office building for Dick Willard and George Bell (1968); the Securities Mortgage Co. Office (1964) in Bellevue; a family cabin on Hood Canal (1968); and a custom home at 6235 NE 185th (1968) in Kenmore.

Cooper died at the age of 90 on September 12, 2010, and is buried at the Floral Hills Cemetery in Lynwood.

– Michael C Houser

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