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Male, US, born 1912-04-28, died 1998-07-25

Associated with the firms network

Durham, Anderson and Freed, Architects; Durham, Robert L., and Associates; Stuart and Durham, Architects; Stuart, Bertram D., Architect; Stuart, Kirk and Durham, Associated Architects

Professional History


Draftsman, David J. Myers, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1936. This was Durham's first position in an architectural office after graduating from the University of Washington (UW).

Draftsman, Bertram Dudley Stuart, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1936-1937.

Architect/Cost Engineer, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), 1938-1941.

Partner, Stuart and Durham, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1941-1951.

Principal, Robert L. Durham and Associates, Architects, Seattle, 1951-1954.

Partner, Durham, Anderson and Freed, Architects, Seattle, 1954-1978. The firm had its office at 1100 Denny Way in 1955. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1955, p. 390.)

Professional Activities

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

Secretary, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington State Chapter, Seattle, 1942.

Member, AIA, Washington State Chapter, Board of Directors, Seattle, 1947-1950.

President, AIA, Washington Chapter, Seattle, 1954-1955; when surveyed in 1962, Durham indicated that he was a Registered Architect in the States of ID, MT, OR and WA.

Durham gave a lecture illustrated with slides of Europe before a meeting of the Engineers Club in the Arctic Building on Thursday, 12/13/1956. (See "Architect on Program," Seattle Times, 12/10/1956, p. 17.)

Chair, AIA, National Honor Awards Program, 1963. (See "Winning Architects Named," Seattle Daily Times, 03/03/1963, Real Estate Section, p. 31.)

President, American Institute of Architects (AIA), national organization, 1967-1968. Clair Enlow, writing with Thomas Veith in Architecture: Building a Profession, said of Durham: "One local architect who made a specialty of church architecture was Robert L. Durham. Durham also played an active role in the chapter and the regional AIA. As the first member of the Seattle chapter to serve as a national president of the American Institute of Architects, he helped to shift the balance of organizational power to the west and reflected Seattle's place on the map of American architecture." (See Clair Enlow with Thomas Veith, Architecture: Building a Profession, [Seattle: American Institute of Architects, 1996], p. 58-59.)

Member, City of Seattle, Building Code Advisory Committee, Seattle, WA, 1950-1965.

Member, City of Seattle, Municipal Art Commission, Seattle, WA, 1955-1965.

Chairman, Seattle World's Fair Cultural Arts Committee, 1959-1961.

Board Member/Vice-President, Guild for Religious Architecture, (founded in 1965).

Member, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Construction and Civic Development Committee, Seattle, WA.

Member, Seattle Downtown Coordinating Committee, Seattle, WA.

Member, City of Seattle, Mayor's In-City Living Task Force, Seattle, WA.

Member, City of Seattle, Planning Commission, Seattle, WA.

Member, Seattle Public Schools, Year-Round School Committee, Seattle, WA.

Professional Awards

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), for design and service to the profession, 1959;

Recipient, AIA Seattle Medalist, Seattle, WA, 1985. This was the lifetime achievement award bestowed by the American Institute of Architects, Seattle Chapter.


Durham donated his papers to the University of Washington Libraries in two batches, one group for materials 1930-1980, on 10/21/1983, and another set covering the years 1935-1986, on 11/23/1992. The title of the collection is the Robert L. Durham Papers.



B.Arch., Cum Laude, University of Washington (UW), Seattle, WA, 1936.

College Awards

Member, Tau Sigma Delta, University of Washington (UW), 1934; Recipient, Second Medal, University of Washington (UW), 1936.



Robert L. Durham grew up in Tacoma, WA.

In 1936, Durham worked as a draftsman, and lived on Latona Street in Seattle. One year later, he and Marjorie lived at 324 East 54th Street in Seattle. (SeeSeattle, Washington, City Directory, 1937, p. 466.) They had relocated to 1914 East 80th Street in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood by 1939.

Durham reported an address of 9310 California Avenue, Seattle, WA, in 1942. He and his wife Marjorie continued to live here in 1955. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1955, p. 390.) He remained at this address in 1948. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1948, p. 370.)

The architect was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Seattle.


His father was William Worth Durham (1883-1969), also an architect. His mother was Abbie Mae McNett (born 03/31/1887 in SD-d. 02/04/1969 in Tacoma, WA).

Abbie's father was Henry Sanford McNett (born 10/19/1851 in LaSalle County, IL-d. 05/30/1933 in WA), her mother Emma Julia Ward (born 09/30/1856 in IN-d. 08/13/1955 in Tacoma, WA).


Durham married twice.

He then wed Marjorie Ruth Moser (born 07/08/1911 in Tenino, WA-d. 12/21/2008 in Seattle, WA) on 09/19/1936 in Salem, OR. Marjorie worked as a teacher when she married Robert. (See, Source Citation Oregon Center For Health Statistics; Portland, Oregon, Usa; Oregon State Marriages, 1911-1945, accessed 06/08/2022.)


He and Marjorie had a daughter Jennifer Ann Durham (born c. 1947 in Seattle, WA). She married James Allen Jerde on 03/29/1966 in Whitman County, WA. (See, Source Citation Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Washington Marriage Records, 1854-2013, accessed 06/08/2022.)

Biographical Notes

Member, Young Men's Christian Association, Seattle, WA.

PCAD id: 1947

1st Baptist Church, Downtown, Everett, WAEverettWA
1st United Methodist Church, Renton, WA1959-1960RentonWA
Anchorage Westward Hotel, Anchorage, AK1960AnchorageAK
Associated General Contractors (AGC), Seattle Chapter, Building, Uptown, Seattle, WA 1950SeattleWA
Central United Protestant Church, Richland, WA1970
City of Seattle, Fire Department (SFD), 5th Engine Company, Fourth Station, Waterfront, Seattle, WA1963SeattleWA
City of Seattle, Public Safety Building #2, Downtown, Seattle, WA 1946-1951SeattleWA
Congregation Ezra Bessaroth Synagogue #2, Rainier Valley, Seattle, WA1968-1969SeattleWA
Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Saint Elizabeth's Episcopal Church, Burien, WA1955-1956BurienWA
Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Saint John's Church #1, Kirkland, WA1954KirklandWA
Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Saint John's Episcopal Church #1, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Saint John's Episcopal Church, Parish House, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Evergreen State College, Evans, Daniel J., Library, Olympia, CA1971OlympiaWA
Evergreen State College, Master Plan, Olympia, WA1968OlympiaWA
Faith Lutheran Church, Bellingham, WA1958-1959BellinghamWA
Fauntleroy Community Church, West Seattle, Seattle, WA1914SeattleWA
Lake Washington Methodist Church, South Rose Hill, Kirkland, WA1961-1962KirklandWA
Laurel Crest Apartments, Seattle, WA1949
Linnea Court Apartments, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA1948SeattleWA
Magnolia Congregational Church, Magnolia, Seattle, WA1946-1947SeattleWA
Queen Anne Lutheran Church, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA1958-1959SeattleWA
Queen Vista Apartments, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA1950SeattleWA
Saint James Presbyterian Church, Bellingham, WA1957BellinghamWA
Seattle 1st National Bank, Incorporated, Branch, 525 South Jackson Street, International District, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Seattle Public Schools, High Point Elementary School, West Seattle, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Seattle World's Fair, Monorail Line, Terminal #1, Westlake Plaza, Downtown, Seattle, WA 1961-1962SeattleWA
Stuart and Durham Architectural Office, Seattle, WA SeattleWA
Washington Congregational Christian Conference, Horizon House Project, First Hill, Seattle, WA1960SeattleWA
West Seattle 1st Lutheran Church, West Seattle, WA1950SeattleWA
Westerner Tract House, Burien, WA1954BurienWA
Westminster Presbyterian Church #2, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA1923SeattleWA
Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), Branch #2, University District, Seattle, WA1951SeattleWA
Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Main Building #5, Downtown, Seattle, WA1912-1913SeattleWA
"First Baptist Church, Everett, Wash.; Durham, Anderson and Freed, Architect", Architectural Record, 117: 6, 206, 1955-06. "St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church, Burien, Wash.; Durham, Anderson and Freed, Architects", Architectural Record, 122: 6, 178, 1957-12. "Churches: St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church, Burien, Wash.", Architectural Record, 122: 6, 178-181, 12/1957. Gaines, Thomas A., Campus as a Work of Art, 136-138, 1991. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 133, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally B., Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State An Environmental Perspective, 190, 1980. Interstate Ninety in Seattle: A Design Team Response to the Problems of the Freeway in Seattle: Interstate Five to Lake Washington, 1971. "High Point School, Seattle, Washington", Pencil Points, 26: 59-64, 04/1945. Report Camouflage Schools and Office of Civilian Defense Washington State Defense Council 1942-1943, 3-4, 1943. Staples, Alice, "'Retirement Home' Apartment Buildings Mushrooming in Seattle Area", Seattle Sunday Times, 39, 1960-12-04. "East Side Y.W. Plans New Building", Seattle Sunday Times, 27, 1953-02-01. "Church Designed No Longer Fit Culture, Says Architect", Seattle Times, 3, 1967-09-02. ""Westerner" by Barger", Seattle Times, 47, 1954-12-12. "Work to Begin On Monorail Terminal", Seattle Times, 6, 01/05/1968. "Methodists To Build in Kirkland", Seattle Times, 3, 1961-07-15. Unit Masonry Association, Incorporated, "Architect's Offices", Unit Masonry Idea Book, n.p., c. 1954. Unit Masonry Association, Incorporated, "A.G.C. Building", Unit Masonry Idea Book, n.p., c. 1954. Unit Masonry Association, Incorporated, "Second Place Award Non-Residential, Brick", Unit Masonry Idea Book, n.p., c. 1954. "Seafirst Bank Expect Excellence ", West Side Story, 211, 07/01/1987.