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Male, US, born 1903-02-20, died 1998-03-05

Associated with the firms network

Graham, John and Company, Architects and Engineers; Jacobsen, John T. , Architect; Jones and Jacobsen, Associated Architects; Jones, Victor N., and Associates; McClelland and Jones, Architects

Professional History


School Designer, Soviet Union, c. 1926.

Project Architect, Various firms, New York, NY, c. 1930.

Site Architect, Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA, c. 1932.

Draftsman, McClelland and Jones, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1935, 1942-1946; during World War II, Jacobsen was one of five architects designing the war housing at Yesler Terrace in Seattle; he was also a designer at Stewart Heights war housing, Kirkland, WA.

Associate, Victor N. Jones and Associate, Seattle, WA, 1946-1950.

Project Architect, John Graham and Company, Honolulu, HI, c. 1959-1965. In Honolulu, Jacobsen served as the John Graham's supervising architect during the construction of the Ala Moana Center.

Principal, John T. Jacobsen, Architect, Honolulu, HI, c. 1965-1980.


Instructor, University of Washington (UW), Seattle, c. 1935. Jacobsen received his undergraduate training in architecture under Carl Gould, Sr., (1873-1939) at the UW. When he came back to the UW to teach in the 1930s, Jacobsen had Carl Gould, Jr., (1916-1992) as an architecture student.

Professional Service

Jacobsen delivered a talk, "Architectural Design" at the meeting of the Seattle Art Museum, Study Guild Group on Home Planning, on 10/28/1941. (See "Architect to Talk at Study Guild," Seattle Times, 10/26/1941, p. 36.)

He completed 15-week course, Camouflage School, Camouflage Division, Office of Civilian Defense, University of Washington, 10-12/1942.

Late in his career, Jacobsen became involved in historic preservation architecture. Architectural historian Michael Houser has written: "Active in a variety of civic affairs, Jacobsen undertook a survey of historic churches in Maui and became the resident expert on historic buildings for the Bishop Museum. In 1974, he traveled throughout the islands registering many buildings for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Among his most important work was creating the Lahaina Architectural Style Book for the Lahaina County Historic Commission which set the design standards for architecture, signs, lamp posts, etc. for the town of Lahaina in 1969." (See "Jacobsen, John T. [1903 - 1998]," accessed 02/15/2012. See also "‘Ted’ Jacobsen, 95, designer of Sea Life Park," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 03/10/1998,accessed 02/15/2012.)

Professional Awards

Jacobsen won a Langley Scholarship, administered through the American Institute of Architects (AIA), that enabled him to tour Scandinavian housing developments in 1938. The Langley Scholarships, endowed by the Scranton, PA, architect Edward Langley (born 03/06/1874 in Toronto, ON-d. 06/08/1935 in Scranton, PA), began in 1936. An architect needed to be proposed for the grant, and could not apply her/himself. (See "Grants Offered to Architects," Miami Daily News, 01/25/1940, p. 9A.Accessed 06/05/2013.) He returned from Scandinavia aboard the S.S. Drottningholm sailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, to New York, NY, between 09/13/1938 and c. 09/20/1938.


Jacobsen's papers were donated to the University of Hawaii (U of H) Library.



B.Arch., University of Washington (UW), Seattle, WA, c. 1924. While at the UW, Jacobsen worked for the TyeeYearbook. Jacobsen and H.B. Hoover wrote a "History of the University of Washington" for the Tyee of 1923, pp. 206-211.

M.Arch., University of Pennsylvania (Penn), Philadelphia, PA, 1926.

Jacobsen traveled a great deal throughout Europe c. 1927-1928. He learned fresco painting techniques at the École Americaine des Beaux-Arts, Fontainebleau, France. Jacobsen was responsible for murals at various institutional locations in the Puget Sound Region, including the Everett Public Library, completed in 1934 and the University of Washington's Henry Suzzallo Library in Seattle, WA the following year.



Jacobsen was born in Seattle, WA, and spent his entire childhood in the region. John T. Jacobsen lived with his family at 2212 13th Avenue North in 1910. The household at this time included three children and two servants, Anna Remberg (born c. 1880 in Sweden) and Nicoline Heimdahl (born c. 1880 in Norway). (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Seattle Ward 7, King, Washington; Roll: T624_1661; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0144; FHL microfilm: 1375674, accessed 08/30/2018.)

In 1920, when he was 16, John lived with his family at 1716 46th Avenue SW in Des Moines, WA. (See, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: T625_1931; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 328, accessed 08/30/2018.)

He attended the University of Washington and then the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA; this started a period of extensive travel when, at age 24 or so, he studied in France and traveled throughout Europe. In 1929-1930, Jacobsen lived with his parents and siblings at 5002 California Avenue in the West Seattle neighborhood of Seattle. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Page: 50B; Enumeration District: 0195; FHL microfilm: 2342236, accessed 08/30/2018.) Jacobsen had an address of 3702 East Highland Drive, Seattle, WA, from at least 1940 until 1942. (See, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: m-t0627-04378; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 40-149, accessed 08/30/2018.)

After 1950, Jacobsen began to work with Seattle developer Lloyd Martin who was planning some of the earliest high-rise apartment buildings in Honolulu. HI. He worked as John Graham and Company's man in Honolulu for some of the 1950s before opening up his own practice. He sailed to HI from the Pacific Northwest, and for a short time after arriving in Honolulu, he and his family lived on the boat. According to Jacobsen's grandson, Erik, "He sailed to Hawaii on 1954 on his 50-foot, wooden sailboat (the Alden-designed ketch named “Jessica”) with his second wife and one daughter (Tina); his other three daughters followed on later than year. Until the Jacobsen house [at 2189 Round Top Drive, Honolulu] was built, he and his family lived aboard the “Jessica” while moored at the HYC (Hawaii Yacht Club)." (See email between Erik Jacobsen and the author, 08/29/2018. Thank you to Mr. Jacobsen for providing this and other information included in this entry.)

Jacobsen died in Honolulu, his last residence having been in the 96822 zip code of that city. He was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Seattle, WA.


His father was John Peter Jakobsen (born 05/22/1863 in Sjaelstofte, Denmark-d. 1938 in Des Moines, WA), the third of eight children of the well-known Danish editor Hans Jørgen Jakobsen. According to the sometimes reliable US Census of 1930, John P. Jakobsen immigrated to the US in 1882, and was subsequently naturalized; his name was “Americanized” to Jacobsen. (The US Census of 1920 indicated that he had been naturalized in 1892.) John P. Jacobsen became a businessman in Seattle, both in real estate (including owning the historic Oregon Hotel—now converted to apartments at 2305 1st Avenue in Seattle) and building materials. John P. Jacobsen was the Danish Vice-Consul in Seattle until 11/1914 and received Danish knighthood. While the 1910 US Census indicated that John P. Jakobsen worked in real estate, the 1930 census reported that he had become a merchant in building materials. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Page: 50B; Enumeration District: 0195; FHL microfilm: 2342236, accessed 08/30/2018.)

His mother was Barbara Mae (sometimes misspelled on official documents as “May”) Amunds (born 1873 in Seattle, WA-d. 04/23/1905 in Seattle, WA), the daughter of Amund Amunds (b 1839 in WI-d 05/06/1936 in Seattle, WA) and Arabella R. Stone (born c.1947 in IN- d. 10/30/1919 in Seattle, WA). Arabella Stone was a direct descendant three Mayflower passengers: William Brewster (senior elder and first religious leader of Plymouth Colony) and his wife Mary Brewster, as well as Richard Warren.

John Peter and Mae married in Seattle, WA on 09/25/1896, and had two children, Phillip Amunds Jacobsen (b 08/03/1901 in Seattle WA15 AUGUST 1969 in Seattle WA) and John Theodore Jacobsen (born 02/20/1903 in Seattle WA) After died prematurely, John Peter remarried to Clara P. Jacobsen (born c. 1876 in TX), who worked in the home. Her parents came from RI (father) and MA (mother). Clara's brother, Everett H. Keith, lived with Clara and John in 1920. John and Clara had two additional children: Elizabeth C. (born c. 1911 in WA), and Marian (born c. 1914 in WA). (See email between Erik Jacobsen and the author, 08/29/2018.) Accroding to the 1910 US Census, Clara had had one child by 1910, who did not survive. (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Seattle Ward 7, King, Washington; Roll: T624_1661; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0144; FHL microfilm: 1375674, accessed 08/30/2018.)


John T. Jacobsen married his first wife, Priscilla Chase Jacobsen (born 06/15/1899 in Haverhill, MA-d. 02/10/1942 in CA), on 06/31/1931 in Peterborough, NH. Her parents were Arthur Taft Chase (born c. 06/1864 in MA) and Minnie Mabelle Gardner (born c. 05/1867 in MA). (Thank you to relative Anita Clayton for correcting an earlier PCAD entry that indicated Minnie's name was "Minnie Mabelle Gordon." This was incorrect. See email from Anita Clayton to the author, 11/18/2019.) She died at age 42 in Alameda County, CA.

In the words of Erik Jacobsen: "After Priscilla passed away, John T. Jacobsen courted and subsequently married his figure-skating partner, Florence Louise Bull (born 05/10/1917 in Auburn, WA-d. 02/13/2006 in Auburn, WA) on 06/17/1945 in Seattle, WA." (See email between Erik Jacobsen and the author, 08/29/2018.)


He and Florence had four daughters. He and Priscilla had twin girls, Tina Jacobsen Rieman and Johanna “Jana” Jacobsen Sparks. With Florence, he had two more girls, Pamala Jacobsen Gilbert and Candace Jacobsen.

Personal Notes

Duane Dietz in his Architects and Landscape Architect of Seattle, 1876-1959, (typescript, 1994), np, indicated that his name was spelled "Jacobsen." Other sources have misspelled it as "Jacobson." His nickname was "Ted" Jacobsen.

Jacobsen traveled between Manzanillo, Mexico, and San Francisco, CA, aboard the S.S. City of Panama, between 09/07/1927-09/19/1927. He sailed on the United States Lines' S.S. American Banker from London, UK, to New York, NY, between 11/28/1929 and 12/11/1929. (See, Source Citation Year: 1929; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 4643; Line: 18; Page Number: 90, accessed 08/30/2018.)

SSN: 534-14-3922.

Associated Locations

  • Seattle, WA (Architect's Birth)
    Seattle, WA

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  • Honolulu, HI (Architect's Death)
    Honolulu, HI

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PCAD id: 1500

Johnston, Norman J. , Campus Guide University of Washington, 46, 2001. Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 216, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally B., Montgomery, Roger, "Yesler Terrace Public Housing", Guide to Architecture in Washington State An Environmental Perspective, 149, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "A. Gunby House, c. 1930", Guide to Architecture in Washington State: An Environmental Perspective, 171, 1980. Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, "Victor Steinbrueck Finds His Voice", Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 99: 3, 130, Summer 2008. "House at Seattle, Washington", Progressive Architecture, XXVII: 8, 62-66, 1946-08. Report Camouflage Schools and Office of Civilian Defense Washington State Defense Council 1942-1943, 3-4, 1943. Steinbrueck, Victor, Seattle Architecture 1850-1953, 39, 1953. Steinbrueck, Victor, Seattle Architecture 1850-1953, 26, 1953. Steinbrueck, Victor, Seattle Architecture 1850-1953, 39, 1953. Steinbrueck, Victor, Seattle Architecture 1850-1953, 21, 1953. Steinbrueck, Victor, Seattle Cityscape, 163, 1962. "Senator's Work in Behalf of Ocean-Research Lauded", Seattle Times, 25, 11.08/1965. Eshkenazi, Stuart, "Fate of Yesler Terrace on line", Seattle Times, B2, 7/21/2005. "Architect to Talk at Study Guild", Seattle Times, 36, 1941-10-26. Wick, Nancy, "A life in bell towers rings his chimes", University Week, 5, 05/08/2008. "Bells will be ringing in Gerberding", University Week, 25: 18, 3, 02/28/2008. Wick, Nancy, "Bell dedication planned for May 31", University Week, 25: 28, 7, 05/22/2008.