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Male, Canada/US, born 1858-03-29, died 1938-09-27

Associated with the firms network

Stephen and Josenhans, Architects; Stephen and Stephen, Architects; Stephen, James, Architect; Stephen, Stephen and Brust, Architects


Professional History

Résumé

Principal, James Stephen, Architect, Hyde Park, IL, 1885-1887.

Principal, James Stephen, Architect, Pasadena, CA, 1887-1889. At this time, the architect Charles W. Saunders (1857-1935) also lived and worked in Pasadena, CA, before relocating to Seattle. Stephen opportunistically relocated to Seattle after the Great Fire of 06/06/1889.

Principal, James Stephen, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1889-1893.

Partner, Stephen and [Timotheus] Josenhans, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1894-1897.

Principal, James Stephen, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1898-

Supervising Architect, Seattle Public School Board, Seattle, WA, 1899-1909. The Seattle Times reported in its issue of 1909: In regard to the resignation of the present architect the following resolution was passed by the board: 'Resolved. That in accepting the resignation of Mr. James Stephen the board does so with great regret. During his ten years of service as architect builtind have been erected costing approximately $1,500,000, and, the board hereby places on record its appreciation of his ability, integrity and untiring services on behalf of the district.'" (See "Edgar Blair Will Be Temporary Architect," Seattle Times, 08/10/1909, p. 7.) Stephen's head draftsman, Edgar Blair (1871-1924), got the job following his resignation, suggesting that the Seattle School Board admired the work that Stephen's office had done.

Partner, Stephen and Stephen, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1909-1919, 1928.

Partner, Stephen, Stephen and Brust, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1920-1927. According to his obituary, Stephen retired c. 1923. (See "Death Claims James Stephen, Pioneer of '89," Seattle Times, 09/28/1938, p. 13.)

Professional Service

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington State Chapter; Stephen became an Associate of the American Institute of Architects on 11/24/1902.

3rd Vice-President, AIA, Washington State Chapter, 1906. (See "Washington State Chapter,"American Institute of Architects Quarterly Bulletin, vol. VI, no. 4, 01/1906, p. 243.)

President, AIA, Washington State Chapter, 1907-1908.

Washington State Chapter Delegate, 41st Annual Convention of the AIA, Chicago, IL, 1907; Stephen attended the Chicago convention along with WA's other delegate, Seattle architect Charles W. Saunders (1857-1935).

Personal

Relocation

Born in Ontario, Canada, Stephen moved to the U.S. in 1864, at age 6. He lived in Hyde Park, IL, c. 1885, and moved to Pasadena, CA, c. 1887, and to Seattle, WA, in 1889.

Like so many employment-seeking architects, Stephen migrated to Seattle following the Great Fire of 06/06/1889. In 1892, Stephen was 34 and lived either in Duwamish or the 4th Ward of Seattle. In 1900, the family lived in the Columbia Census Precinct of King County. Stephen lived in the Seattle Ward 12 P6 Census Precinct in 1910 with his wife Ida M., and sons Frederick B. (29), Walter M. (25), Chester R. (23), James H. (16), along with an aunt, Katherine S. Bennett (67). In 1920, James, Ida and Frederick lived together in Precinct 247 of Seattle.

By 1917, he and Ida had a house at 6505 57th Avenue South in Seattle, where they resided for many years; Stephen and died at this location in 1938. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1932, p. 1371.) His obituary stated that he had been ill for ten years.

Parents

Both of his parents, Alexander and Mary Stephen, migrated from Scotland to Canada.

Spouse

James Stephen married Ida Mary Rowan (b. 10/1858-d. 02/25/1953 in Seattle, WA), who was born in Missouri; they were married in 1882. Ida's parents both were born in Ohio.The obituary of James Stephen indicated that his wife was named "Ida M. Stephen." (See ""Death Claims James Stephen, Pioneer of '89," Seattle Times, 09/28/1938, p. 13.)

Children

James Stephen had four sons. His eldest son, Frederick Bennett Stephen (b. 02/1883), became an architect and a partner in the firms, Stephen and Stephen, 1909-1919, 1928, and Stephen, Stephen and Brust, 1920-1927. Other sons included: Walter M. (b. 09/1884), Chester R. (b. 03/1887-01/11/1953) and James Howard (b. 03/1893). All of his sons, except James, were born in IL. James was born in Seattle, WA. Chester became an electrician, and last resided at 6505 57th Avenue South with his mother. In 1953, Ida was still alive and living in Seattle, as were brothers Fred and Walter; brother James Stephen lived in Leavenworth, WA and worked as an orchardist. (See "Chester R. Stephen," Seattle Times, 01/14/1953, p. 32.)

Biographical Notes

His name was often misspelled, "Stephens."

Stephens had a humorous side as noted in a report on the 24th annual meeting of the Washington State Chapter of the American Institute of Architects: "Mr. James Stephens read a short paper on the idiosynchrasies of the architect, and it proved a comic arraignment of the architect in Mr. Stephens' [sic] incomparable style." (See "Washington Architects Meet," Architect and Engineer, vol. LVI, no. 2, 02/1919, p. 114.)

While Stephen was at one time comfortable as the Supervising Architect for Seattle Public Schools, he became disenchanted with the system; in 1921 the Seattle Times had an article on a broad coalition that had formed opposed to high property taxes. One of the speakers was Stephen who was quoted as saying: "James Stephens [sic], an architect, also criticized the school board as wasteful...." (See "Tax Fight Underway," Seattle Times, 05/26/1921, p. 2.) Stephen may have had bitter feelings about his dealings with the schools and this was a good forum to air his grievances. This 1921 opposition to taxes involved several fraternal organizations and mercantile associations and seemed to have some significant support. These voters were, no doubt, some of the base of support that swept government-cutting Governor Roland Hartley (1864-1952) to office in 1924.


PCAD id: 1772


NameDateCityState
4th Avenue Apartment House, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Auburn School District, Auburn School, Auburn, WA1905AuburnWA
Columbia School District #18, Dunlap, Joseph and Catherine Henderson, School #2, Columbia City, WA1904SeattleWA
Everett Public Schools, Everett High School, Everett, WA1910EverettWA
Hartman House, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Olympia School District, Miller, William Winlock, School, Olympia, WAOlympiaWA
Seattle Public Schools, 20th Avenue School, Stevens, Seattle, WA 1901-1902SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Adams School #1, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Allen, John B., Elementary School, Phinney Ridge, Seattle, WA1904SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Bagley, Daniel, School #1, Seattle, WA 1906SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Cascade School, Cascade, Seattle, WA 1893-1894SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Coe, Frantz H., Elementary School, Seattle, WA 1907SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Colman Elementary School, Central District, Seattle, WA1909-1910SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Day, B.F., School, Fremont, Seattle, WA1891-1892SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Emerson Elementary School, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Franklin, Benjamin, School #1, Seattle, WA 1905-1906SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Green Lake Elementary School, Green Lake, Seattle, WA 1902SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Greenwood Elementary School, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Hay, John, School, Queen Anne, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Hill Tract School, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Interbay Elementary School, Seattle, WA 1902SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Interlake School, Wallingford, Seattle, WA1904SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Latona Elementary School, Wallingford, Seattle, WA 1905-1906SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Lincoln, Abraham, High School, Wallingford, Seattle, WA1906-1907SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Madrona Elementary School, Madrona, Seattle, WA 1904SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Queen Anne High School, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Randall School, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Stevens, Isaac I., Primary School, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA1906SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Summit Elementary School, First Hill, Seattle, WA1904-1905SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, University Heights Elementary School, University District, Seattle, WA1902SeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, Van Asselt School, Seattle, WA1909SeattleWA
Sharpless, Dr., House, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Welch, Mrs. James, House, Seattle, WASeattleWA
West Seattle School District #73, West Seattle Central School, West Seattle, WA 1893SeattleWA
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