Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings

Designers: Walker McGough Foltz Lyerla, Architects (firm); Walter W. Foltz (architect); Willis Martin Lyerla (structural engineer); John Witt McGough (architect); Bruce Morris Walker (architect)

Dates: constructed 1969-1971

4069 Spokane Lane NE
University of Washington, Seattle, Campus, Seattle, WA 98195

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map

Building History

The Spokane-based firm of Walker McGough Foltz Lyerla produced this Brutalist design for Kane Hall, an aesthetic prominently displayed in many University of Washington (UW) buildings erected during the heyday of campus funding in the late 1960s. After 1973, the UW greatly slowed its capital spending on buildings, as Federal money began to gradually disappear during the decade's economic "stagflation."

Kane Hall housed a number of classrooms, meeting spaces and the large Roethke Auditorium, named for the renowned UW poet Theodore Roethke (1908-1963), who drowned tragically at the age of 55. South-facing windows lining Red Square illuminated the Walker-Ames Room, a large meeting and reception hall named for the Walker Ames Family, generous donors to the UW. This family also donated their 1907 residence for use as the UW President's House.

Kane Hall was named for Thomas Franklin Kane (1863-1953), a lawyer and scholar of Latin and Greek languages, who served as the UW's fourteenth President between 1902 and 1914. He was forced out by the Regents and replaced by Henry Suzzallo (1873-1933).

Building Notes

The Brutalism of Kane Hall's exterior was calculated to contrast with the ornate Gothic styling of that of nearby Suzzallo Library, providing a subtle foil to the older and more elaborate centerpiece of Red Square. Norman Johnston observed, however, that Kane Hall's piers echoed spacing of openings of Suzzallo. He wrote in 1995: "The rhythm of the piers does suggest a consciousness of the similar structural module in Suzzallo Library, to the east." (See Norman Johnston, The Fountain and the Mountain, [Woodinville, WA, and Seattle, WA: Documentary Book Publishers and University of Washington, 1995], p. 111.)

PCAD id: 5184