AKA: Canlis Restaurant, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - restaurants

Designers: Cutler James, Architects (firm); Jongeward, Jean E., Interior Designer (firm); Pfeiffer, David, Garden Architecture, Incorporated (firm); Rasar, Doug, Interior Design, LLC (firm); Terry and Moore, Architects (firm); Tucker, Shields and Terry, Architects (firm); Wimberly and Cook, Architects (firm); Howard Loren Cook (architect); James Lee Cutler (architect); Jean E. Jongeward (interior designer); David Pfeiffer (landscape architect); Douglas Rasar (interior designer); Robert McKay Shields (architect); Roland Clyde Terry (architect); Bert Atherton Tucker (architect); George J. Wimberly (architect)

Dates: constructed 1949-1950

2 stories

2576 Aurora Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109

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Restaurateur Peter Canlis (d. 1977) located this fashionable Seattle steakhouse on a promontory just southeast of the Aurora Bridge, opening it on 12/11/1950. Canlis, who also had a restaurant in Honolulu, HI, began this local institution, and was succeeded by his son, Chris, and daughter-in-law, Alice, in 1976. Roland Terry acted as Associate Architect with Wimberly and Cook, Architects, Honolulu, HI; according to the Canlis web site in 2012: "Roland Terry and Pete Wimberley collaborated on the original design. Terry wanted a timeless place of Frank Lloyd Wright discipline and subtlety, while Wimberley dreamed of a restaurant where guests would feel comfortable kicking their shoes off under the table. Together they created an architectural icon that captures the beauty of the Northwest with breathtaking splendor." (See "Architecture,"Accessed 01/23/2012.) In recent years, grandsons Mark and Brian Canlis have assumed operations of this august Northwest institution.

Additions were made in 1954 by Terry and Moore associated with Wimberly and Cook; alterations were made by architect James Cutler c. 2000. Cutler remained very respectful of Terry's original design, saying, "All I was going to do is stick with it and upgrade it and refine it and take what he had and let it sing. He did such good work, it would have been arrogant of me to anything other than follow along with him." ("Local architect helped define Northwest style" Susan Gilmore, Seattle Times, 06/16/2006, reverse of opinion page) In 2005, interior designer Doug Rasar again remodeled the restaurant's interior, collaborating with landscape architect David Pfeiffer.

PCAD id: 4571