A. Gordon Lumm

Lumm, A. Gordon

(1900 – 2002)

Born on December 6, 1900 in Traer, Iowa, Allen Gordon Lumm attended schools in Colorado and California before completing his B.S. in Architecture at the University of Minnesota in 1925. Lumm worked briefly in Colorado before moving to Washington State. From 1931 to 1932, he practiced with fellow architects Ambrose J. Russell and Gaston Lance in Tacoma. Together, the firm of Russell, Lumm & Lance designed many period revival homes in the Tacoma area.

Lumm received his state architect license in April 1930, and began his own independent practice after the war, in 1945. He received his National Council Certificate from the Architectural Registration Board in 1959. Over the course of his career, he was involved in the design and alterations of many public buildings in southwestern Washington during the 1940s and 1950s. His largest projects included the Male Ward Building (1948) and Cadet Nurse Home (1947) at Western State Hospital near Steilacoom, the County-City Building (1958) in Tacoma, and alterations and additions to the Salishan Housing Project (1958) in Tacoma. Having won the prestigious contract to design the General Administration Building (1951-56) on the capital campus in Olympia, brought his firm much attention.  It was the first major commission on the Capitol campus since WWII. 

Smaller projects include the Buckley Fire Station (1952), Steilacoom Fire Station (1953), Tacoma & Pierce County Health Department (alterations, 1950), Mountain View Sanatorium (1951) in Tacoma, Provident Building (alterations, 1952) in Tacoma, Willard School (1952) in Tacoma,  Riverside Infirmary (alterations, 1952) in Sumner, the Mark E. Reed Memorial Hospital (addition and alterations, 1956) in McCleary, Columbia Basin Hospital (1957) in Ephrata, and the County-City Building (1959) in downtown Tacoma.

Lumm was an active member of the Washington State Chapter of the American Institute of Architects from 1942-1965, was a member of the Tacoma Architects’ Association, and served on the Board of Architectural Examiners from 1947-49. He also served on the Pierce County Planning Commission from 1952 to 1957. Lumm retired to Arizona in 1961 and remained there until 1996.  He then returned to Washington where he died November 30, 2002, just shy of his 102nd birthday.

– Michael C Houser

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