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Male, US, born 1872-05-03, died 1938-04-02

Associated with the firms network

Heins and LaFarge, Architects; Somervell and Cote, Architects; Somervell and Putnam, Architects; Somervell and Thomas, Associated Architects; Somervell, W. Marbury, Architect


Professional History

Consulting Architect and Construction Supervisor, Heins and LaFarge, Architects, New York, NY, c. 1905; Partner, Somervell and Cote, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1906-1909; between 1910-1917, Somervell operated offices simultaneously in Seattle and Vancouver, BC, Canada; Partner, Somervell and [John L.] Putnam, Architects, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1907-1917; Principal, W. Marbury Somervell, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1910-1914; Somervell and Putnam were listed as a firm in Seattle's Polk City Directory between 1915-1917; between 1912-1915, Somervell worked in association with Harlan Thomas on at least three Seattle Public Libraries. Officer, U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers and Chemical Warfare Service, France, 1917-1918; he was commissioned as a Major, U.S. Army, 1917, and served a tour of duty on France; Somervell was at one point elevated to the rank of colonel. A Los Angeles Times article referred to him as "Colonel Marbury Somervell" (06/12/1933); another newspaper report (LA Times 10/21/1928) stated that "During the World War he achieved distinction as colonel in the A.E.F., stationed on the Italian front with the Third Division of Engineers." Somervell remained in Europe helping to restore damaged monuments in France, 1918-c. 1920; he worked in New York, NY, in 1921, and had moved to Los Angeles, CA, c. 1924. He practiced in Los Angeles with John L. Putnam, c. 1924-1930.

Somervell served on the Board of Architects for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle, c. 1908-1909; Patron, Seattle Architectural Club, Seattle, WA, 1910; Member, Seattle Architectural Club, Exhibition Committee, 1910; Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington Chapter, 1908-1911; Chair, Exhibitions Committee, AIA Washington Chapter, 1908; a committee chaired by Somervell undertook the first public exhibition of chapter work held in the state between 05/04/1908-05/18/1908; Somervell was awarded a Certificate to Practice Architecture in the State of California in 05/1924; he exhibited a selection of his etchings with a group of 13 artists at Bullock's Department Store, Downtown Branch, in 06/12/1933-07/12/1933.

Personal

Somervell worked as a Project Architect, Heins and LaFarge, Architects, New York, NY; Heins and LaFarge sent him to work on the Saint James Cathedral, First Hill, Seattle, WA, c. 1905. He worked in Seattle, WA, and Vancouver, BC, over the next two decades. Somervell traveled frequently, and by c. 1920-1921, he lived in New York, NY, again; at this time, he worked with C.A. Fullerton and R. Rosenbluth on the design of a mammoth World War I memorial stretching from the 59th Street Plaza to Columbus Circle. (See "Colossal Composite of War Memorials," New York Times, 07/04/1920, p. 44); in 1924, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA. In 1931, Somervell lived at 539 South Mariposa Street, Los Angeles.

Somervell's parents were Augustus and Mary Eliza Somervell Maccafferty. According to C.B. Bagley, in his "History of Seattle": 'The family name was changed by a ruling of the supreme court for the purpose of enabling them to inherit certain properties and in the fulfillment of a clause in the will of the maternal grandfather of Woodruff M. Somervell.' (See Clarence B. Bagley, History of Seattle, [Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1916], v.3, p. 832.) Somervell's paternal grandfather, Robert Maccafferty, an Irishman who immigrated to the U.S. in 1814, was a noted civil engineer, who worked with the New York politician, DeWitt Clinton, on the building of the Erie Canal. Maccafferty also built the first light house in Cuba, where he died in 1868. His mother-in-law was living in her house in The Highlands, Seattle, WA, at the time of Somervell's death.

He married and divorced Helen Hughes, who lived in San Diego, CA, at the time of Somervell's death; Somervell married Hortense Koepfli, a woman twenty years younger, in 02/1931. She vacationed at the Deep Well Guest Ranch near Palm Springs in 1933.

Somervell had one daughter, Jane, who lived abroad at the time of his death in 1938.

His first name has been noted variously as "Woodruf" and "Woodnut"; it was spelled "Woodruff." He often went by the name, "W. Marbury Somervell."



Associated Locations

  • Cannes, France (Architect's Death)
    Cannes, France

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PCAD id: 1823


NameDateCityState
Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE), Machinery Pavilion, Seattle, WA 1908-1909SeattleWA
Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE), Manufacture Building, Seattle, WA 1908-1909SeattleWA
Bank Building Project, Vancouver, BC, Canada1908VancouverBC
Bank of Ottawa Building, Vancouver, BC, CanadaVancouverBC
Bauer Building, Vancouver, BC, CanadaVancouverBC
BC Sugar Refining Company Limited Warehouses, Garage, Vancouver, BC, CanadaVancouverBC
Birks, Henry and Sons, Building, Vancouver, BC, Canada 1912-1913VancouverBC
British Columbia Electric Railway, Office Building, Vancouver, BC, Canada1911-1912VancouverBC
City Club Building, Los Angeles, CA1924-1925Los AngelesCA
City of Seattle, Fire Department (SFD), Station #22, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA 1909SeattleWA
City of Seattle, Fire Department (SFD), Station #25, First Station, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA1908-1909SeattleWA
City of Seattle, Public Library (SPL), Branch #2, Green Lake, Seattle, WA1909-1910SeattleWA
City of Seattle, Public Library (SPL), Branch, Columbia City, Seattle, WA1914-1915SeattleWA
City of Seattle, Public Library (SPL), Branch, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA1912-1913SeattleWA
City of Seattle, Public Library (SPL), Branch, University District, Seattle, WA1909-1910SeattleWA
City of Seattle, Public Library (SPL), Branch, West Seattle, Seattle, WA1909-1910SeattleWA
City of Seattle, Public Library (SPL), Main Library #1, Downtown, Seattle, WA 1904-1906SeattleWA
City of Seattle, Public Library (SPL), Yesler, Henry L., Branch, Central District, Seattle, WA1913-1914SeattleWA
Clark, J. Edward, House, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Collins, Josiah, Store and Office Building, Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA1909SeattleWA
Farnsworth, Clare E., House, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA1910SeattleWA
Foxen, Mrs. Charles, House, San Luis Obispo, CA1927
House by Somervell, W. Marbury, Santa Barbara, CA1925Santa BarbaraCA
Hughes, E.C., House, The Highlands, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Library Project, 19041904
London Building, Vancouver, BC, Canada1912VancouverBC
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), 38th Street School, Los Angeles, CA1924-1925Los AngelesCA
Merchants Bank of Canada, Vancouver, BC, Canada1916
Minor Private Hospital #1, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Parsons, Reginald, House, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA1905SeattleWA
Perry Apartment Hotel, First Hill, Seattle, WA 1906-1907SeattleWA
Phinney, Guy Carleton, Building Project, Downtown, Seattle, WA1913SeattleWA
Rivers, E.B., House, Project, Los Angeles, CA1929Los AngelesCA
Rogers, B.T., House, Vancouver, BC, CanadaVancouverBC
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, Bishop's House, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, Saint James Cathedral, First Hill, Seattle, WA1903-1907SeattleWA
Sisters of Providence, Providence Hospital #2, Seattle, WA1910-1911SeattleWA
Somervell, W. Marbury, House, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Toronto Dominion Bank Local Headquarters, Vancouver, BC, CanadaVancouverBC
Vancouver Civic Center Project, Vancouver, BC, Canada1912VancouverBC
Walker, William, Apartment Building, Belltown, Seattle, WA1906-1907SeattleWA
War Memorial Project, New York, NY1920-1921
Yorkshire Building, Vancouver, BC, CanadaVancouverBC
"Personals", American Architect and Architectural Review, CXXIV: 2435, 574, 1923-12-19. "Societies", American Architect and Building News, 93: 1681, 16, 03/11/1908. Mudede, Charles, "The largest collection", Arcade, 25: 1, 38-39, "Obituary", Architect and Engineer, 138: 56, 07/1939. "Estates for Sale", Architectural Digest, 62: 2, 150, 2/2005. Croly, Herbert, "The Building of Seattle: A City of Great Architectural Promise", Architectural Record, 32: 1, 16, 07/1912. Croly, Herbert, "The Building of Seattle: A City of Great Architectural Promise", Architectural Record, 32: 1, 12, 20, 07/1912. Croly, Herbert, "The Building of Seattle: A City of Great Architectural Promise", Architectural Record, 32: 1, 12, 20, 07/1912. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "C.E. Farnsworth House, 1910", Architecture in Washington State An Environmental Perspective, 159, 1980. "Design for a library", Architecture (New York), 9: 50, 20, 02/15/1904. Eighteenth Annual Report of the Seattle Public Library 1908, 15, 1909. Kalman, Harold, Exploring Vancouver 2, 268, 1978. Kalman, Harold, Exploring Vancouver 2, 85, 1978. Kalman, Harold, Exploring Vancouver 2, 233, 1978. Kalman, Harold, Exploring Vancouver 2, 233, 1978. Kalman, Harold, Exploring Vancouver 2, 112, 1978. Kalman, Harold, Exploring Vancouver 2, 90, 1978. Kalman, Harold, Exploring Vancouver 2, 252, 1978. "Green Lake Branch", Flash, 23: 3, 1, 11/1964. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 193, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "Firehouse No. 25, 1908", Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 146, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 228, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "Providence Hospital, 1911", Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 151, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 199, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 197, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State An Environmental Perspective, 152, 1980. "Branch libraries completed soon", Interlaken, 3: 30, 1, col 2, 11/07/1908. "Mrs M'Can Mourned in Final Rites", Los Angeles Times, 15, 11/05/1933. "Architect applies for license to wed", Los Angeles Times, A8, 02/18/1931. "Etcher to Show Details of Art at Store Today", Los Angeles Times, A9, 06/12/1933. "Coast Covered by Architect", Los Angeles Times, F1, 10/21/1928. "Ball Club Work", Los Angeles Times, E9, 01/17/1926. "Colossal Composite of War Memorials", New York Times, 44, 07/04/1920. Seattle Architectural Club Yearbook 1910, np, 1910. Seattle Architectural Club Yearbook 1910, np, 1910. Brazier, Dorothy Brant, "Hotel Perry Far From Forgotten", Seattle Daily Times, 21, 1963-09-13. "Queen Anne library to reopen with fanfare", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, B2, 08/25/2007. "Important Projects in Northwest Work of Local Architect", Seattle Sunday Times, 12, 06/08/1913. "Variety Suggested in Branch Buildings", Seattle Times, 7, 1908-09-10. "This Will Be a Big Realty Month", Seattle Times, 6, 1906-02-18. "Three-Story Building for Second Avenue", Seattle Times, 7, 1908-12-29. Brazier, Dorothy Brant, "Joseph Cote Left Mark on Seattle", Seattle Times, 19, 09/11/1963. Chebuhar, Teresa, "Joseph Cote: Familiar Name", Seattle Times, K8, 10/01/1978. "Renovations to close 2 libraries", Seattle Times, B3, 11/19/2006. "Library Trustees Make Choice", Seattle Times, 27, 11/24/1907. "Somervell, W.M., Obituary", Seattle Times, 05/04/1938. "Foxen, Mrs. Charles, House article", Southwest Builder & Contractor, 49, col 2, 5/20/1927. "38th Street School, Los Angeles article", Southwest Builder & Contractor, 56, col 1, 10/24/1924. "Somervell awarded a Certificate to Practice Architecture in the State of California", Southwest Builder & Contractor, 46, col 2 and 3, 5/16/1924. Twenty-fourth Annual Report of the Seattle Public Library 1914, 24: 6, 1914.