Arden C. Steinhart

Steinhart, Arden C.

(1906 – 1994)

Born on November 21, 1906 in the small community of Bucoda, Washington, Arden Croco Steinhart initially studied business administration at the University of Washington, earning a Bachelor’s degree in 1929. However, graduating at the height of the great depression, jobs were tough to find and Steinhart’s early career was spent working in his father’s sawmill as a lathe foreman. With a keen interest in architecture, he decided to return to the University of Washington at age 40 for a second degree, an unusual career move at the time. Steinhart had been working on-and-off as a draftsman for architects William Jones and Roy C. Stanley since 1937. After graduating with a Bachelor in Architecture degree in 1950, Steinhart was made a formal partner of the firm and the name was changed to Jones, Stanley & Steinhart in 1951.

When Jones retired, Stanley and Steinhart took on a new partner, Robert Theriault. In 1959 Stanley retired and Einar Anderson was made partner. The firm was renamed Steinhart, Theriault & Anderson.

Together they designed numerous churches, schools, and community buildings scattered across the Puget Sound area. The office had a small staff of six to eight, including the partners. While they maintained a policy of “a limited volume of work with personal attention to the client’s problem,” they still designed a significant number of buildings over a 30-year period.

Notable educational projects include the Northeast Senior High School (1959) in Burien; Pacific Junior High School (1960) in Des Moines; Kellogg Middle School (1962) in Shoreline; Tyee High School (1964) in SeaTac; Benson Hill Elementary (1970) in Renton; and the campus of Shoreline Community College (1964-66).

Religious projects include the A-frame St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (1962) in Seattle at the base of Queen Anne; Glendale Evangelical Lutheran Church (1967) in Burien; Calvary Lutheran Church (1963) in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood; and John Knox Presbyterian Church (c.1965) in Normandy Park.

The partnership is perhaps best known for the design of its Miesian-style office building (1959) in Seattle’s Eastlake (1264 Eastlake Avenue). The 40’ x 28’ steel frame architectural office cantilevers some 14’ from the hillside offering a dramatic expression to passing motorists.

Other notable projects include the Normandy Park Community Center (1960) in Normandy Park; Seattle Library Broadview Branch (1967) and Burien Branch (c. 1968); the Swedish Club (1960) in Seattle; and the 400 Shopping Arcades Building (1965) in Burien.

In a crushing blow to the partners, Anderson passed away suddenly at the age of 45 in March of 1970. Upon his death, the firm continued but was renamed Steinhart, Theriault & Associates (1971-1980). In 1981, John F. Courage was made a partner and the name was changed again; Steinhart, Theriault & Courage. By the time Steinhart retired in the late 1980s, his career spanned nearly four decades. He passed away in Seattle at the age of 87 on March 19, 1994.

– Michael C Houser

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