Robert H. Ross

Ross, Robert H.

(1918 – 2013)

Architect Robert Hugh Ross was born in Seattle on May 4, 1918. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Washington 1941. While the details of his early career are unknown, records indicate that he opened his own firm in 1955 and then joined the firm of Bassetti & Morse as participating Associate in 1958.

Ross’s known early projects are limited to the Associated Grocers Co-Op Buildings (1955) in Seattle; the Willard Rhodes House (1956) in Seattle; J.B. Rhodes House (1956) in Seattle; and the Kodiak Courthouse & Post Office Building (1956) in Alaska.

While working for Bassetti & Morse, Ross became well known for his innovative residential designs, including serving as co-lead designer for Georgia-Pacific’s well-advertised “Home of the Future” in the Inverness neighborhood (1962). The home was designed specifically for House & Garden magazine and was meant to be an “imagination center” for new design ideas.

Other residential projects include a remodel of David Todds House (1967) in the Laurelhurst neighborhood; a remodel and addition to the Clyde & Joan MacDonald House (1964) near Kirkland; the Charles Ralls Jr. House in the Steel Lake Village neighborhood (1964) in Federal Way; the Kenneth R. Williams House (1974) in Kirkland; a house at 7816 175th SW in Edmonds (1976); and the John B. Mitchells House at Three Tree Point (1961) in Burien. Many of these homes received press in local and regional newspapers.

Other projects include the Associated Grocers Headquarters (1952); Ravenna Park Apartments (1954); an apartment at 6250 33rd Ave NE (1956); the Felthouse Law Office (1956) in Selah; and South Kitsap High School addition (1968) in Port Orchard.

Over the course of his career, Ross receive several accolades from the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) including a first place honor award for the Seattle Children’s Zoo (1966); a third place award for Tropical House (1967) at the Seattle Zoo; honorable mention for Century Building School, South Kitsap (1968); first place for a design for the base of the Noguchi sculpture, “Black Sun” (1969), at the Seattle Asian Art Museum; third place award for United Church of Christ, Mercer Island (1969); and an honorable mention for Kent City Hall (1971). In 1972 Ross also was awarded the Finnegan Award for specifications excellence from the Puget Sound Chapter of the Construction Specification Institute.

Ross died Feb 4, 2013 at the age of 94.

– Michael C Houser

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