Russell N. Garrison

Garrison, Russell N.

(1926 – 2006)

Born June 2, 1926, Russell N. Garrison graduated from Lincoln High School in Tacoma in 1944. Upon graduation he was drafted into the Army and served as a paratrooper in WWII with the 11th Airborne division. After the war, Garrison returned to Seattle, and took advantage of the GI Bill. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Washington in 1952.

After serving as a draftsman for Robert B. Price he formed a short-lived partnership with architect Gaston Lance in 1959. By the next year he opened his own independent firm.  However, shortly thereafter, Robert A. Parker joined him as a partner.

Known projects include the Executive House Apartments (1961) in Tacoma; the Capt. James Parker House (1961) in Steilacoom; the Ramada Motor Hotel (1962) in Tacoma; the Miramar Apartments (1963); Pauley – Kobayashi House (1964) in University Place;

It was Garrison’s design for the Tenzler Memorial Library (1963) in Lakewood that brought him much acclaim. The project received a first place honor award in the 1964 National AIA Library Building award program sponsored by the AIA, the American Library Association and the National Book Committee.

By 1970, Parker had left the firm and was replaced by Robert Warning.  Together Garrison & Warnings projects include the Christina Town House Apartments (1971) in Tacoma; the Lakewood Elks Lodge (1970); a house at 6414 Bridgeport Way (1976) in Lakewood; and the Orchard Village Senior Apartments (1976) in Lakewood.

Garrison was heavily involved in the community of Lakewood. In fact, he led efforts to have the community incorporated. He was honored as the Lakewood Man of the Year (1962), served on the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce board, and was president of Lakewood Improvement Council.

Garrison died on May 1, 2006 in Tacoma at the age of 79.

– Michael C Houser

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