Howard Y. Dong

Dong, Howard Ying

(1929 – 2023)

Architect Howard Ying Dong was born in Seattle on November 19, 1929. His father, Thomas S. Dong, had immigrated to the United States from China as a young child in 1906. The Dongs were a prominent Chinese American family who helped establish an import/export business – the Tienstin Trading Company.

After graduating from Garfield High School in 1946, Dong was drafted into the United States Army during the height of the Korean War in 1951. Serving for two years, he was honorably discharged in 1953, and entered the University of Washington on the G.I. Bill. Dong earned his architectural degree from University of Washington in 1955 and upon graduation established his own architectural firm – “Howard Dong Associates.” Over a span of more than 60 years, he developed a successful portfolio of commercial and residential projects throughout the Seattle area.

A talented student, Dong actually designed a home for his parents at 1514 35th Avenue (1953) while still in school. The house received wide praise and was featured multiple times in the Seattle Times. Other single-family homes include a residence at 7522 27th Ave NE (1964), and a home at 4413 90th Ave SE on Mercer Island (1966).

Dong specialized in apartment buildings. Projects include the 1500 16th Ave Apartments (1958); the Canyon View Apartments (1963); an apartment at 615 Summit Ave (1964); the Barton Square Apartments (1965); the Edgene Apartments (1966); and the Green Acres Apartments (1968).

Other notable work included Grace Hansen’s Paradise International Club, a Las Vegas style burlesque nightclub at Century 21 (1962); Orcas Island Real Estate Office in East Sound (1961); Dr. Briggs-Hall Veterinary Clinic (1971); Crown Hill Veterinary Hospital (1972); the Cedar River Animal Hospital (1973) in Renton; the 2nd & Union Parking Garage (1969); the Jade Pagoda Restaurant (1967); and Ming Palace Restaurant (1979) in Bellevue.

Dong was active in the Seattle Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, and served on the board of directors. He helped form a public corporation board to rehabilitate Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, and was elected to serve on its first board of directors by Mayor Wes Uhlman in 1975. He later also became President of the Kong Yick Investment Co. which owned two buildings in the Chinatown-International District (the East and West Kong Yick buildings on S. King Street).

Dong’s retirement years were spent enjoying his grandchildren, weekly lunch with his friends of 70 years, and occasionally designing houses for family members. He passed away in Seattle on May 10, 2023 and is buried at Lake View Cemetery.

– Michael C Houser

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