view all images ( of 3 shown)

Male, US, born 1927-06-08, died 2017-08-10

Associated with the firms network

Bystrom and Greco, Architects; Bystrom, Arne, Architect

Professional History


Military service, US Army, Korea, 1945-1946.

Steel Detailer, Seidelhuber Iron and Bronze Works, Seattle, WA, 1951- 1953.

Draftsman/Designer, Paul Thiry, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1953-1957.

Partner, Bystrom and [James] Greco Architects, Seattle, WA, 1958-1967; Bystrom and Greco met each other in Thiry's office. According to Bystrom's biographer, architectural historian Grant Hildebrand, Greco was "...a superb architectural draftsman and detailer...." (See Grant Hildebrand, A Thriving Modernism, [Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2004], p. 55.)

Principal, Arne Bystrom, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1967-2017. In 2010, Bystrom's office was located at 1022 Summit Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98102.

Professional Activities

Bystrom worked with the City of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department on several occasions. He designed the Seward Park Cultural Arts Center, Madrona Dance Studio, and renovated the Greenlake Bathouse Theatre. Bystrom also collaborated with the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (PDA) on the restoration of the Soames-Dunn Building and the Seattle Garden Center Building.

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA).

1st Vice-President, AIA, Seattle Chapter, 1983.

President, AIA, Seattle Chapter, 1984.

Member, Seattle Planning Commission, Seattle, WA, two terms.

Member, Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, Seattle, WA.

Founding Member, Pike Place Market Historical Commission, Seattle, WA.

Bystrom presented the lecture, "At Home in the Future," at the Seattle Times/American Institute of Architects Home of the Year event, 02/25/2000, 7:30 p.m., at the University of Washington's Kane Hall.

Professional Awards

Recipient, American Institute of Architects (AIA), national organization Honor Award, Olympic Peninsula Cabin, 1979.

Recipient, AIA national organization Honor Award, Sun Valley House, [Reid and Peggy Dennis House], Ketchum, ID, 1984-1987.

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA).

Recipient, AIA Seattle Medal, 1998.

By 2010, Bystrom had won more than 30 design awards from the AIA and other groups. Recipient, Progressive Architecture Design Award; recipient, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) National Design Award. Bystrom was included on the Wall of Recognition by the Ballard High School Foundation.


The University of Washington Libraries Special Collections Division maintains the Arne Bystrom Architectural Drawings and Photographs, circa 1959-2005, collections PH2005-045 and PH2010-025 that consist of approximately 2,450 architectural drawings (98 tubes, 4 boxes, 1 folder of sketches), and 1 notebook of publications.


High School/College

Diploma, Ballard High School, Ballard, Seattle, WA, 1945.

B.Arch., University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Seattle, WA, summa cum laude, 1945, 1947-1951. Bystrom first enrolled at UW in the spring of 1945, aiming to graduate with a degree in aeronautical engineering; he dropped this major after only one term, and was then drafted to serve as a part of the occupying force after the war in Korea.

Bystrom was part of the same architectural class at UW that produced another noted regional modernist, Ralph Anderson (1924-2010).

College Awards

American Institute of Architect's (AIA) Medal, Second Award, UW, 1951.

After college, Bystrom worked for a short time and then took a European "grand tour" to finish his architectural education. The Seattle Times noted of this trip: "I went to work, made some money and took a tour of Europe. Spike (Lionel) Pries was still at the University of Washington and gave me a list of places to visit. It was important to see the classical architecture firsthand." (See Dean Stahl, Seattle Times, Pacific NW Magazine, "For the love of wood, he puts his focus on frame and detail," published 03/22/2008. accessed 08/16/2017.)



His parents were Albin (1892-1971) and Martha Hammerose Bystrom (1888-1947). Albin, an immigrant from Sweden, worked as a jack of all trades, including a logger, prospector, cannery builder and fisherman. He landed, like so many Nordic people in MN, then moved to the gold rush state of AK and then to WA by about 1920. He married Martha in Seattle on 12/09/1922, and they settled in the city's Ballard neighborhood, home to a rich concentration of Nordic people. This population worked in Ballard's thriving fishing and lumber industry, and within the latter particularly, the production of shingles. The Scandinavian immigrants brought with them sophisticated wood-working skills, filling Ballard with capable furniture makers, boat builders, carpenters and industrial wood-workers. (At this time, manufacturing industries used wood for many more things than after World War II.)

He had two sisters, Myrtle and Eleanor, and his brother, Albin.


Bystrom married Valerie Ann Broze on 09/10/1960.


He and Valerie had two children, a daughter, Ashley Bystrom-McConnaughey, and a son, Carl Bystrom, Jr.

Biographical Notes

He was known to friends as "Arne" Bystrom.

In 1953, Bystrom and a longtime friend, Carsten Lien, toured Europe for four months, concentrating on sites in Italy and France. Before embarking, Bystrom consulted Lionel "Spike" Pries (1897-1968), a prominent architecture professor at UW, active in studio courses, who knew the cities of Paris, Florence, Rome and Venice well. Pries stood out for UW architecture students as a key travel consultant and was also a model of the cultivated gentleman architect.

Exhibitions on Bystrom's work occurred at the AIA Seattle Office in 06/1998 and the Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle, WA and in Norway during the spring of 2000. A University of Washington Department of Architecture student, Are Risto Oyasaeter, a native of Norway, wrote his Master's Thesis on Bystrom in 1997.

PCAD id: 2063