Victor Steinbrueck

Protestant Church and Sunday School Group, May 6, 1933.

Victor Steinbrueck

Design drawing: gouache/watercolor with graphite and ink on paper.

Digital Collection item #ARC0891; URL:,1829

Victor Steinbrueck (1911-1985) graduated from the University of Washington with a B.Arch (1935). In this period he also worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Work Progress Administration. After apprenticing in a number of private Seattle firms and serving in the military during World War II, he joined the faculty of Architecture at the University of Washington (1946-76). He also initiated his own practice and, over the next two decades, designed a series of regional-modernist residences, built with indigenous materials suited to the climate. Notable works as architect include the Alden Mason House (1951); his own residence (1951); the Stellwagan House (1955); Barrett House (1956); and, with Paul Kirk, the University of Washington Faculty Club (1960).

Steinbrueck's focus on the character of Seattle's architecture and urban places dates from the early 1950s when he authored A Guide to the Architecture of Seattle, the first publication on Seattle architecture. (1953). Working as a consultant to John Graham & Company, Steinbrueck played a key role in the design work of the Space Needle (1962).

Steinbrueck became active in historic preservation, and, with others, successfully fought developers' plans to obliterate Seattle's most significant historic districts. He was instrumental in the creation of Seattle's first two historic districts, Pioneer Square (1970) and Pike Place Market (1971). Steinbrueck went on to publish several other books promoting awareness of the unique character of Seattle: Seattle Cityscape (1962); published to coincide with Century 21, the Seattle World's Fair, Market Sketchbook (1968), and Seattle Cityscape #2 (1973).

Steinbrueck’s projects were guided by a strong sense of public spirit and social consciousness: low-income housing, the inclusion of social services, and a number of city parks co-designed with landscape architect Richard Haag, including the one that now bears his name.