Edward K. Mahlum

Mahlum, Edward K.

(1909 – 1998)

Born on November 13, 1909 in Seattle, Edward Kristian Mahlum was raised in Lillehammer, Norway. By 1928, he migrated back to the United States via Canada. He then received his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from North Dakota State College in 1934. Upon graduation, he served as a draftsman for the United States Department of the Interior from 1934 to 1935, before joining the architectural firm of Broaten Foss & Co. in Minneapolis (1935-1938). He then worked for C.H. Johnston in St. Paul (1938-40) before coming back to Washington State. In 1940, he began working for Naramore & Brady, serving as their chief draftsman. He later became a principal in the firm.

After World War II, Mahlum received his architectural license (No. 369) on August 6, 1946. In 1948, he established his own practice. In addition to running his own firm, Mahlum assisted John W. Maloney in managing his office of about fifty architects after the sudden death of Maloney’s chief draftsman.

Mahlum’s projects included the Fremont Court Apartments (1949), Seattle Teachers’ Credit Union (1949), the Norway Center (1950), J.S. Arnason House in Kirkland (1954), the Norse Retirement Home (1957), the Ole Bardahl House (1958), Bardahl Manufacturing Office (1957), and an educational addition to the Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church (1960).

After the Norse Retirement Home was completed, Mahlum specialized in similar projects and designed at least four other retirement homes in the Seattle area as well as two in Oregon. He was an active member of the Washington Association of Homes for the Aged. Mahlum also served as consulting architect to the Supreme Lodge of the Sons of Norway for the construction of retirement homes nationwide.

Mahlum’s later work included Queen Anne’s McClure Jr. High School (1964), Stephen Decatur Elementary School (1961), the Hearthstone Retirement Home (1966), rear addition to Edmond Meany High School (1962), North Seattle Community College (1966-70), and Group Health Eastside Hospital in Redmond (1970-75).

In the mid 1960s, Mahlum’s sons joined the firm, now renamed Mahlum & Mahlum. Then in the late 1970s, they took on another partner, John Norfors. Today, the firm is known as Mahlum Architects, and currently has offices in Seattle and Portland. Edward K. Mahlum passed away in Seattle on September 5, 1998.

– Michael C Houser

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