Steinbruiek’s Old Drawings of West Mercer Way

At a used bookstore clearance sale in Capitol Hill I came across Seattle Cityscape (U of W press, 1962) by Victor Steibrueck, University of Washington architecture maven. “Through ink sketches and critical observations, the author seeks to portray and establish the unique character and color of Seattle’s physical environment.” Of course I bought it.

Two are houses on West Mercer Way. Here’s the first with the author’s comments:

West Mercer Way on Mercer Island is a showcase of well-designed residential architecture. One of the most pleasing is the home of Dr. and Mrs. Cyrus Rubin at 6105 Southeast Thirty-second Street, designed by architects Ibsen Nelson and Russel Sabin. It is a thoughtful and personal style of home, pleasantly landscaped, which speaks well for both architect and client.  (p. 164)

And the second. I love how the folaige runs out of the frame of the picture.

Architect Paul Hayden Kirk designed this excellent comtemporary wooden house, located in the woods at 4157 West Mercer Way, for his brother, Blair Kirk. It show masterful spatial design and composition, and fine knowledge of wood construction as a design consideration, while confidently making the best of a natural setting. (p. 166)

“Old” in the context of Seattle history is somewhat a loaded term, as I discovered in a Pioneer Square old book shop when I asked for old maps of Seattle. “There aren’t really an old maps of Seattle,” the bookeeper said, “since the fist maps were made on Vancouver’s journey here in the 17oo’s.” I then listened patiently as he explained the history of European exploration of the Pacific Northwest, and then told me he had no maps. So I feel comfortable using “old” here in the PNW to refer to the 1960s. Apologies to my mother, who I don’t consider “old” but who is considerably older than the 1960s.

We’ve got some excellent architecture on the Island, and some monsters. What are your favorites?

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One response to “Steinbruiek’s Old Drawings of West Mercer Way

  1. Pingback: Ralph Andersen on Mercer Island « Surrounded By Water: A Mercer Island Blog

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