Architecture of the Pacific Northwest Database

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Images from the database

This database contains selected architectural drawings from the Pacific Northwest Architecture Collection representing regionally significant architects and designers spanning the period from the 1880's into the 1980's. This collection showcases design and working drawings of important examples of both historic and more contemporary residential, commercial, and public buildings in the Puget Sound region.

Highlights include plans for the historic Pioneer Building, designed for Seattle pioneer Henry Yesler in 1889 by architect Elmer Fisher; proposals for the Space Needle by the John Graham Company for the 1962 Century 21 World's Fair Exposition; and design drawings for the 1932 Seattle Art Museum at Volunteer Park by architect Carl Gould.

Also included are regional works of nationally recognized and locally known architects Paul Thiry, Andrew Willatsen, Ellsworth Storey, and Paul Hayden Kirk, who contributed to the styles particular to Northwest architecture. Victor Steinbrueck's drawings of building elevations in Pioneer Square reflect the role Pacific Northwest architects played in regional architectural and civic preservation work. The work of Elizabeth Ayer, the first woman to become a registered architect in Washington State, is also represented.

About the Database

This digital collection was created with the CONTENTdm software’s innovative new program, JPEG 2000, which enables larger materials, such as architectural drawings, to be displayed in a higher quality, more usable online format. It allows viewers to see image details that would be difficult or impossible to see at the lower resolutions used in the normal software. This new software includes pan and zoom capabilities which allow moving in and out of the image and moving across the image to display the details. JPEG 2000 software is particularly valuable for providing access to maps and architectural drawings since large documents are made of fine details which researchers need to be able to see clearly. The architectural drawings presented in this digital collection were scanned from original drawings as TIFF files, manipulated in Adobe PhotoShop to achieve the best and clearest possible digital image and loaded into the Contentdm JPEG2000 software and linked with descriptive metadata.

Selection for the Architecture Collection was done by Kristin Kinsey and the research and descriptive metadata was prepared by Brandi Barleycorn and Sarah Weeks in 2006. The work was funded by a Friends of the Libraries grant awarded in 2005. The materials in this database are selections from various architectural collections held by the UW Libraries Special Collections Division.