Blaine McCool

McCool, Blaine

(1923 – 2006)

Born on February 1, 1923 in Emmett, Idaho, Blaine McCool grew up in Seattle and attended Roosevelt High School. McCool was drafted during World War II and entered the Army Air Force Cadet training at the University of Nevada, graduating in March of 1944. In 1946, McCool enrolled at the University of Washington where he remained until 1949. For reasons unknown, McCool completed his studies at Edison Technical School, graduating with a certificate of merit in architectural drafting in 1950.

Upon graduation, McCool went to work for the architectural firm of Eckert-Tiffany & Associates. Rising to the level of associate, McCool received his state architectural license on June 26, 1952. However that same year, he decided to form his own independent practice. Over the next 30 years, McCool became one of the most prolific designers of multi-family residential buildings in Seattle.

With work flooding into the office, in 1958 McCool promoted associate Charles E. Morgan to full partner. Together, McCool-Morgan & Associates specialized in low- to mid-rise apartment buildings, many of which can be found scattered in the Magnolia, Queen Anne and Capitol Hill neighborhoods of Seattle.  Many of their designs are easily identified by their glass fronted stair towers, many of which often project above the main roof line. Notable projects include the Balboa Apartments (1958), the Kingshire Apartments (1958), the Hawaiian Apartments (1959), the Cape Flattery Apartments (1959), the Delphain Apartments (1961), the Dunbar Apartments (1961), the Fairview Apartments (1962), the Harbor House Apartments (1964), and the Camelot Apartments (1965).

Many of the firm’s projects were commissioned by Seattle real estate developer Don Kennedy and builder Kemp Hiatt (also known as H & K Construction). Projects for them include the Belmont Roy Apartments (1956), the Brooklyn Apartments (1960), the Hiatt Apartments (1960), the CoHo Apartments (1964), and the Tyee Apartments (1963).

None residential projects by McCool include an addition to the Ridgecrest Community Baptist Church (1958), Thriftway Market (1958), the seven-story Century House Motel (1961), the University Inn (1962), and the National Data Company Office (1962).

After Morgan left to form his own firm, McCool promoted his associate Allen McDonald to partner in 1966 and the name of the firm was changed to Blaine McCool & Allen McDonald Architects. Their projects include the Lakeshore West Apartments (1966), the Madera Apartments (1967), Lakeview Place Apartments (1966), and the Northridge Apartments (1970), all in Seattle

McCool passed away in Seattle on January 11, 2006.

– Michael C Houser

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