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Male, US, born 1930-06-26, died 2019-06-08

Associated with the firms network

Naramore, Bain, Brady, and Johanson, (NBBJ); Overturf, Harrison, Architect

Professional History


During summers away from Cornell University, William Bain, Jr., worked for his father's residential design firm, the Bain-Overturf Company, Incorporated. Marga Rose Hancock has wrtitten: "During summers Bain would return to Seattle and work in various capacities at his father’s firm of Bain and Overturf. From the beginning, he and his father, based on mutual respect, decided that they would never work on the same project together. At the time, the firm designed high-quality residential work, mostly single-family residential projects."

Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1953-1955. He was stationed at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, CA, the Yakima Firing Range in Yakima, WA, and the Port of Whittier, AK, working as a Port Engineer. He remained in Whittier for one-and-a-half years, "... In a position previously held by a Lieutenant Colonel, he directed the work of 35 enlisted persons and 52 civilians in base repairs and utilities operations. This involved supervising all the major building trades -- carpentry, plumbing, electric, electric line, sheet metal and painting shops -- as well as the port’s entire power, electrical, and water systems." (See Marga Rose Hancock,, "Bain, William James Jr. (1930-2019), Architect," published 12/30/2009, accessed 06/12/2019.)

Draftsman, Naramore, Bain, Brady, and Johanson (NBBJ), Architects, Seattle, WA, 01/01/1955-1956. According to NBBJ's memorial page for Bain: "Bill joined the firm in 1955 after graduating from Cornell University and serving in the Army Corps of Engineers. Throughout his 64 years at NBBJ, Bill held numerous leadership positions, making a significant impact on the growth and success of the firm. Bill was awarded the American Institute of Architects, Seattle Chapter, Medal of Honor in recognition for his remarkable achievements throughout his career. It’s impossible to separate the work of the firm from the leadership of Bill Bain Jr. From the realization of Seattle’s iconic Two Union Square high-rise, and Pacific Place, to the U.S. Federal Courthouse, Bill has been instrumental in helping NBBJ grow into a firm that is among the most innovative in the world. " (See, "NBBJ Celebrates the Legacy of Consulting Partner Bill Bain Jr.," published 06/08/2019, accessed 06/10/2019.) Another web page indicated that he was the firm's 47th employee. (See, "People: We cultivate a practice of leaders: a collaboration among optimistic, empowered experts," accessed 06/12/2019.)

Designer, Harrison Overturf, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1956-c. 1959.

Partner, Naramore, Bain, Brady and Johanson (NBBJ). In 2005, William Bain, Jr.'s title was "Consulting Design Partner."


His biography indicated that Bain "...lectured or taught design at Cornell, NYU, Harvard, University of Washington, Washington State University, and the Technology Transfer Institute of Japan." (See, "People: We cultivate a practice of leaders: a collaboration among optimistic, empowered experts," accessed 06/12/2019.)

Professional Activities

William J. Bain, Jr., obtained WA State Architectural License #894. (His father had WA State Architectural License #1.)

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Seattle Chapter, Seattle, WA, 1953-2019.

Member, Royal Institute of British Architects.

Member, Japan Institute of Architects.

Treasurer, AIA, Seattle Chapter, Seattle, WA,1962-1963.

Member, Board of Directors, AIA, Seattle Chapter, Seattle, WA, 1966-1967.

First Vice-President/President-Elect, AIA, Seattle Chapter, Seattle, WA, 1968.

Member, AIA, Washington State Council of Architects, Board of Directors, 1968.

President, AIA, Seattle Chapter, Seattle, WA, 1969.

Commissioner, Member, Board of Directors, Washington State Council of Architects, 1969.

In 1970, Bain reported being NCARB-certified.

President, AIA Washington Council, 1974.

Chairman of the Board, Downtown Seattle Association, 1991-92.

Co-Chair of the 1994 Commission that oversaw the year-long observation of the 100th Anniversary of the AIA in Seattle and Washington.

Advisor, Cornell University, College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Advisory Council, Ithaca, NY, 1994- .

Professional Awards

Recipient, US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering Certificate of Achievement, 1955.

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1976.

Recipient, AIA, Seattle Chapter, Seattle Medal, Seattle, WA, 1997.

Recipient, Filley Award for Excellence, Lambda Alpha International.



B.Arch., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1948-1953. His teachers at Cornell included "Phillip Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, Paul Rudolph and Aldo Giurgola." (See, "People: We cultivate a practice of leaders: a collaboration among optimistic, empowered experts," accessed 06/12/2019.)

At Cornell, Bain was a member of campus ROTC, and the fencing team, specializing in saber.

College Awards

First Prize Winner, York Prize for Design, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1949.

Recipient, Awarded Charles Goodwin Sands Medal for Design, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1953.

Inductee, LOgive Honorary Architectural Society, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1953.



Born in Seattle, WA, where his father, William J. Bain, Sr., was a successful architect, William J. Bain, Jr., spent his formative years in that city. He had fond memories of living in the Lombardy Court Apartments, a design by his father, at 421 Summit Avenue North. The Bains lived here between 1930 and 1939, the difficult years of the Depression. Biographer Marga Rose Hancock cited a passage from William Bain, Sr., and Mildred Clark Bain's book, Building Together: A Memoir of Our Lives in Seattle, by William Bain, Jr., recalling the Lombardy Court as a child: "I remember clearly the reflecting pool, which was on axis with the entrance, and the Chinese lantern, which made a beautiful termination of the walkway from the street. The tall Lombardy poplars along the side balanced the L-shaped courtyard. I didn’t realize until later that my parents owned and managed the building and that my father designed it." (See Marga Rose Hancock,, "Bain, William James Jr. (1930-2019), Architect," published 12/30/2009, accessed 06/12/2019.) His parents may have foreseen the economic downturn that was coming, and erected this apartment building to provide reliable montly income in difficult times.

Bain had a number of childhood jobs, selling sole that he speared and newspapers in Downtown Seattle, while attending Lowell Elementary School and the Lakeside School. Later in life, he drove a Buick for a car service, worked in a bank, served water to construction workers, and worked as a letter carrier.

As an 18-year-old, William Bain, Jr., lived with his family at 1157 Harvard Avenue in Seattle, where they had dwelled between approximately ten years beginning in 1939. Again, this house had been designed by his father, and they remained there until about 1950.

He resided with his family at 1540 Parkside Drive in the comfortable Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1951, p. 74.)

Bain and his wife resided at 2494 42nd Avenue North, Apartment #408 in 1959. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1959, p. 75.)


His father was William J. Bain, Sr., (1896-1985), his mother, Mildred W. Clark, (born 01/30/1904-d. 11/20/1991).

He had an older brother, Robert Bain, (born c. 1926 in Seattle, WA) and a younger sister, Nancy Bain Lowry. (b. 1935 in Seattle, WA)


He married Nancy Sanford Hill of Patterson, NJ, on 09/21/1957 at the Epiphany Church, Seattle, WA.


Biographical Notes

Robert and William Bain traveled from New York bound for Southhampton, England, on 06/09/1969, aboard the new Cunard liner R.M.S. Caronia. (See, Source Citation The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Departing from New York, New York, 07/01/1948-12/31/1956; NAI Number: 3335533; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A4169; NARA Roll Number: 36, accessed 06/10/2019.)

In 1952, during college, he took a trip to Havana, Cuba during a break. (See Marga Rose Hancock,, "Bain, William James Jr. (1930-2019), Architect," published 12/30/2009, accessed 06/12/2019.)

President, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Seattle, WA.

Chairman, Downtown Seattle Association, Seattle, WA.

Recipient, Most Distinguished Alumnus of the Lakeside School Award, Seattle, WA.

Member, Cornell University Council, Ithaca, NY.

PCAD id: 1497

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1st Presbyterian Church #4, Seattle, WA1969SeattleWA
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