Theodore A. LaCourse

LaCourse, Theodore A.

(1925 – 1996)

Theodore “Ted” Alfred LaCourse was born on May 17, 1925 in Morristown, New Jersey. He came to the Pacific Northwest during the war years where he was a member of the 95th Infantry. During the war he served with valor and was decorated with a Silver Cross, and when shot in action at Metz, France, was awarded a Purple Heart. After the war he went to school on the GIB Bill and received a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Washington in 1949.  Upon graduation he opened his own independent practice in Seattle focusing on mainly on residential design.

Several of his works were featured in local newspapers and LaCourse was a regular contributor to the Seattle Times Home-of-the-Month program. Known as a “builder’s architect,” he worked closely with many Seattle area builders providing them with modest, but thoughtful designs. His design for the Donald Davison House (1949) on the Sand Point Golf Course brought him much attention early in his career. The “brick and glass rambler” was featured in the Pacific Northwest Book of Homes (1949), the Seattle Times (April 10, 1949) and Better Homes & Gardens (November 1951). Other notable single-family residences include the Maurice Morhaime Residence (1956, Seattle Times/ AIA Home-of-the-Month, June 1956), house at 5719 s Morgan Pl (1957), the G. Almira Residence (1957, Seattle Times/ AIA Home-of-the-Month, July 1957), and the Lloyd E. Erickson Residence (1961),

While LaCourse received praise for his custom designed homes, it was really multi-family apartment projects that keep his practice going. Examples can be found all over the city and beyond and include the Lanai Apartments (1955) on Portage Bay, a remodel of 36 buildings at the Lakeshore Apartments (1956), the Surf Apartments (1959), and the Town & Country Court Apartments (1959) in Bellevue.

A high concentration of his deigns can be found on Capitol Hill.  They include the Bellcrest Apartments (1956), the Mark Spencer Apartments (1958), the Cheville Apartments (1947), the Mesa Terrace Apartments (1957), the Lamplighter Apartments (1962), the Maison Ville Apartments (1962), J-Manor Apartments (1965), and the Highlander Apartments/ condominiums (1965). The Highlander holds the distinction of being the first official high-rise condominium constructed in the city of Seattle.

Among his last projects was working with prefab modular home builder Nanco, Inc to develop a Doces Furniture Co. modular home (1978). Reportedly the design was the first fully furnished modular home for purchase in the United States.

LaCourse passed away in Bellevue on November 23, 1996 at the age of 71.

– Michael C Houser

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