James C. Gardiner

Gardiner, James C.

(1917 – 1967)

James Cecil Gardiner was born in San Francisco on June 24, 1917, and was educated at the University of Southern California (1935-37, no formal degree). During the depression years leading up to WWII, he worked for a variety of architects scattered across the PNW including the firm of Russell, Lance & Muir in Tacoma (1937); Joseph Wohleb in Olympia (1938); Van Evera Bailey in Portland (1938); Herman C. Light in Los Angeles (1939); the Austin Co. in Seattle (1939); and the McClelland & Jones firm in Seattle (1940). During the war, he worked for the U.S. Navy Bureau of Yards & Docks and for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers serving as a project architect (1941-46).

After the war and upon receiving his architectural license in 1946, Gardiner established an independent practice in Tacoma. His work ranged from residential to commercial and stretched from Seattle to Tacoma. Many of his designs can be found in a variety of architectural journals including Progressive Architecture. Among his notable projects are the State Department of Game Headquarters (1948) on Fairview Ave in Seattle which was featured in Progressive Architecture Magazine; and Gardiner’s own home in Tacoma (1945).

In 1950, he moved to the Portland area, opening a new office in Beaverton. One year later he joined the Oregon Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Among his notable projects during the later part of his career include the Wherry Housing Project at Richland (1954), U.S. National Bank Addition – Beaverton Branch (1954), the Lowman & Hanford Co. Warehouse (1958) in Seattle; Beaverton City Hall (1958), Forest Grove City Hall (1959), the Thunderbird Shopping Center (1961) in Lakewood, and Vose Elementary School (1960) in Beaverton.

Gardiner passed away in Portland, Oregon on March 13, 1967 at the age of 49.

– Michael C Houser

E-Mail List

Subscribe to our e-mail list (through Constant Contact) to receive news and updates from Docomomo US/WEWA.

Grant Support

4Culture's Preservation Sustained Support grant partially funds our programs and advocacy work.


P.O. Box 70245
Seattle, WA 98127

Site Search

Social Media

Follow Docomomo US/WEWA