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Male, US, born 1872-04-14, died 1964-04-18

Associated with the firms network

Albertson, Abraham H., and Associates, Architects; Albertson, Wilson and Richardson, Architects; Howells and Albertson, Architects; Howells and Stokes, Architects

Professional History


Albert Horace Albertson came to Seattle at an auspicious time for an architect, during a period of rapid growth in the city's downtown and extensive residential building in its suburban fringes. He became associated with several leading Seattle businessmen including C.F. White and J.F. Douglas of the Metropolitan Building Company and the real estate magnate J.W. Clise. His work directing the high-rise construction in the Metropolitan Building Company's Metropolitan Tract, made him an important designer of the city's Downtown business district of the 1910s and 1920s. He also became active in civic affairs, serving on various government housing and planning boards, that created early housing policies, city building codes and laws governing tenement construction.

Private / Corporal, U.S. Army, New York State National Guard, 71st Infantry Regiment, Spanish-American War in Cuba, 1898. He enlisted in New York City on 05/02/1898 as a Private in the Infantry, F Company. He left military service on 11/15/1898 at New York, NY. He was promoted from private to corporal on 07/04/1898. (See, Source Citation New York State Archives; Albany, New York; Abstracts of Spanish-American War Military and Naval Service Records, 1898-1902; Series Number: B0809, accessed 10/04/2021.) Albertson served with the New York soldiers assembled by Colonel Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) who fought at the Battle of San Juan Hill and the Siege of Santiago, Cuba.

Draftsman, Clinton and Russell, Architects, New York, NY, c. 1895-c. 1905. Albertson was an early employee of the archtiectural firm of Clinton and Russell that was founded in 1894.

Supervising Architect, Howells and Stokes, Architects, New York, NY and Seattle, WA, 1907-1917. A Seattle Post-Intelligencer article of 01/1908 announced Albertson's impending arrival to direct Howells and Stokes' Pacific Coast building operations: "Mr. [J.F.] Douglas also announced that A. Albertson, who is connected with the New York architects, is expected in Seattle January 15, and will proceed to get the building under way. Mr. Douglas said yesterday that actual work should be commenced not later than February 1. Mr. Albertson is to take charge of the Pacific coast office of Howells & Stokes, which is to be located at Seattle. Other work of the firm now under way at both San Francisco and Redlands will be directed from Seattle by Mr. Albertson." (See “Tall Building To Go up on Union Street Corner,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, vol. LIII, no. 49, 01/02/1908, p. 1.) At the time, J.F. Douglas was the Secretary of the Metropolitan Building Company, the syndicate that built Seattle's Metropolitan Tract commercial buildings during the 1910s and 1920s.

Chief Architect, United States Housing Corporation, Bremerton, WA, 1917-1918. Albertson designed more than 300 housing units, primarily single-family houses, but also least one apartment block in Bremerton, the South Court Apartments (1918). He worked with the Seattle general contractor, A.W. Quist Company. (See Josh Farley, Kitsap, "100 years later, a Bremerton housing experiment lives on," published 03/10.2018, accessed 10/04/2021.)

Partner, Howells and Albertson, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1920-1928.

Principal, Abraham H. Albertson and Associates, Seattle, WA, 1929-1933. In 1931, A.H. Albertson and Associates had its office in Room #1512 of the Northern Life Building #2, a tower of their own design. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1931, p. 2030.)

Partner, Albertson, [Joseph] Wilson and [Paul] Richardson, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1935-1937.

Chief Architect/Supervisor, Federal Housing Authority, Washington State Office, Seattle, WA, 1939-1949. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1941, p. 32.) Albertson retired in 1949.

Professional Service

Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington Chapter, 1910-1911.

Member, AIA, national organization, Board of Directors. Albertson became the first Pacific Northwest architect to join the national board of directors of the most important architectural professional organization.

Chairman, City of Seattle, Building Code Committee, Seattle, WA, c. 1922. Albertson authored the the Seattle Tenement House Law. Seattle passed new versions of its building code in 1909, 1912, 1914, 1917, and 1924.

Director, Social Welfare League, Seattle, WA. Albertson was the Seattle representative of Howells and Stokes during planning and construction of the Metropolitan Tract, a large parcel of land in Downtown owned by the University of Washington. He supervised the construction of the White-Henry-Stuart Building, Cobb Building, Stimson Building and the Metropolitan Theatre.

Member, Federal Fair Rentals Commission, 1917-1919.

Vice-chairman, State of WA, Emergency Public Works Board, Olympia, WA.

Chairman, Bi-state Federal Historical Monuments Survey.

WA State Architectural Advisor, Home Owners Loan Corporation.

State of WA Chief Architect, Federal Housing Administration, c. 1938.

Professional Awards

In 1932-1933, Albertson was one of 321 WA residents (155 from Seattle) listed in "Who's Who in America." (See "New Who's Who Lists 155 Names of Seattle Folk," Seattle Times, 09/16/1932, p. 3.)

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1934, elected for Design and Service to the Institute.


The University of Washington (UW) Libraries, Special Collections Division, maintains the Abraham Horace Albertson Papers, 1908-1962. The UW Libraries Catalog indicated: "The Abraham Horace Albertson papers are comprised of correspondence, a notebook, and writings related to Albertson's professional activities as an architect, a member of various boards and commissions, and the architect for U.S. Federal Housing Administration in Washington State. Topics include architecture, design, urban planning, the Northern Life building, the Metropolitan Tract, Everett's City Hall, the Federal Housing Administration, the Home Owners' Loan Corporation, the regulation of building heights and skyscrapers, living and housing conditions in Seattle, and a camping trip. Correspondents included Edmond S. Meany, S. Edward Paschall, Margaret Bundy Callahan, B. Marcus Priteca. F.C. Staunton, John Mead Howell of Howell and Stokes, M.W. Bean, Ellis F. Lawrence and the American Institute of Architects. Access may be restricted." (See UW Libraries, "Abraham Albertson," ,<>, accessed 10/10/2014.)



Ph.B. in Architecture, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1895. At Columbia Unviersity, Albertson belonged to the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity.



Born in New Jersey, Albertson lived in Hackettstown, NJ, in 1880. His family lived at 33 Harvey Street, northwest of the city center, the household including his parents, Edward and Victoria, and his elder brother Charles. (See Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: Hackettstown, Warren, New Jersey; Roll: 799; Page: 362D; Enumeration District: 196, accessed 10/04/2021.)

According to records of the 1st United Methodist Church, Albertson resided in Bangor, PA, between at least 1884 and 1889. His family lived on Market Street during this time. (See, Source Citation Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 558, accessed 10/04/2021.) In 1898, his parents still lived in Bangor, according to his NY military records, and remained there in 1910.

He moved to New York, NY, to attend Columbia University and subsequently lived in that city for approximately 10 years. His time in New York was broken by his service in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. In 1899, he resided at 20 Broadway. (See W. J. Maxwell, Greek Letter Men of New York. [New York: Umbdenstock Pub, 1899],.p. 621.)

He moved to Duluth, MN, in 1905, and thence to Seattle, WA, in 1907, acting as the Supervising Architect of Howells and Stokes's Seattle, WA, Office. In Seattle, Albertson supervised the design and construction of Howells and Stokes buildings within the Metropolitan Tract of Downtown Seattle, one of the largest ensembles of office buildings planned in the US at the time.

In 1920, the architect and his wife Clare resided in an apartment building at 1222 Summit Avenue, Unit #103, in Seattle's First Hill neighborhood. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1920, p. 313.)

According to the U.S. Census of 1930, Albertson and his wife Clara lived at 508 34th Avenue in Seattle. The Albertsons owned their house which had the substantial value of $11,500. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Page: 25A; Enumeration District: 0162; FHL microfilm: 2342234, accessed 09/28/2021.) By 1940, the Albertson dwelling at 508 34th Avenue had dipped in value to an estimate of $6,500. (See, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: m-t0627-04378; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 40-161, accessed 10/04/2021.)

Between 1958 and 1960, he resided at 508 34th Avenue in Seattle. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1958, p. 15 and Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1960, p. 17.)

He passed away following a two-week illness in 1964. At his death, no public services were held at Richardson's request.


Both of A.H. Albertson's parents were born in NJ. Edward Horace Albertson (born 12/03/1839 in Bridgewater, CT-d. was a retail grocer. He was the eldest of five children of Aruae Jennette Treat (born 10/11/1819 in New Milford, CT-d. 04/02/1898 in NJ) and Samuel Albertson (born 12/19/1811 in Great Meadows, NJ-d. 02/16/1897 in Hackettstown, NJ). (See John Harvey Treat, The Treat Family: A Genealogy of Trott, Tratt and Treat, [Salem, MA: Salem Press Publishing and Printing Company, 1893], p. 463.) The name of his paternal grandmother has been spelled "Arnae," "Aurae" and "Aruae" in various documents. The majority of listings, including the name on her tombstone, was spelled, "Aruae."

His mother, was Victoria Newman Albertson, was born c. 1841.

According to the U.S. Census of 1880, A.H. had one brother, Charles, born c. 1869 in NJ.


A.H. Albertson wed twice. First, he married Clare Delphine Fox (born 11/21/1869 in Belvidere, IL-died 04/14/1946 in Seattle, WA) on 02/06/1915 in Kitsap County, WA. (See, Source Information Washington, U.S., County Marriages, 1855-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014, accessed 10/04/2021.) Clara's father, Seymour Fox, came from NY, her mother, IL. Both A.H. and Clare married late in life, he at 42, she, 43.

In 1900, Clare Fox worked as a teacher in New Trier, IL. (See, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: New Trier, Cook, Illinois; Page: 26; Enumeration District: 1174; FHL microfilm: 1240293, accessed 10/04/2021.) The 1940 US Census indicated that Clare, like Abraham, had graduated from a four-year university. (See, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: m-t0627-04378; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 40-161, accessed 10/04/2021.) She graduated from the University of Chicago with bachelor's degree in 1902. (See, "University of Chicago. Alumni Council. Alumni directory, 1919," [Chicago: University of Chicago, 1919], p. 492, accessed 10/04/2021.)

Clare traveled alone aboard the Norddeutscher Lloyd liner S.S. Bremen from Cherbourg, France to New York, NY, between 07/10/1937 and 07/15/1937. (See, Source Citation Year: 1937; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 49. Source Information: New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010, accessed 10/04/2021.)

According to her obituary, "She was a charter member of the Women's University club and for many years was active in the Music and Art foundation and in Orthopedic hospital activities in Seattle." (See, "Details Received in Mrs. Albertson Death," Belvidere Daily Republican, Belvidere, IL, 05/17/1946, p 4.)

Months after Clare's death, he married again on 11/26/1946 to Elizabeth Gillette Henry (born in Franklinm, IN-d. ) in Seattle. Her parents were William Elmer Henry (born c. 1865-d. 03/20/1936 in Seattle, WA) and Margaret Atkinson Roberts (1872-1900), who wed in 1895. (See Lineage Book National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, vol. CXXXVII (137), 1917-1918, Amy Cresswell Dunne, Historian Gerenal , {Washington, DC: D.A.R., 1934], p. 209.)

Biographical Notes

At age 26, Albertson's military registration card indicated that he stood 5-feet, 8-and-½-inches tall, and had a light Caucasian complexion. He had gray-blue eyes and light hair. (See, Source Citation New York State Archives; Albany, New York; Abstracts of Spanish-American War Military and Naval Service Records, 1898-1902; Series Number: B0809, accessed 10/04/2021.)

Albertson traveled from New York to Liverpool, England, arriving in the latter city on 06/27/1913, aboard the White Star Dominion liner, R.M.S. Adriatic. (See, Source Citation The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Board of Trade: Commercial and Statistical Department and successors: Inwards Passenger Lists.; Class: BT26; Piece: 558, accessed 10/04/2021.) He spent the months of July and August 1913 touring Europe. Traveling on the S.S. Berlin, the architect sailed alone from Bremen, Germany on 08/30/1913, arriving in New York, NY on 09/09/1913. (See, Source Citation Year: 1913; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 8; Page Number: 21, accessed 10/04/2021.)

Member, Pacific Northwest Academy of Arts, Seattle, WA.

Member, Downtown Rotary Club, Seattle, WA.

Member, Washington Athletic Club (WAC), Seattle, WA.

SSN: 531444486.

Associated Locations

  • Hope, NJ (Architect's Birth)
    Hope, NJ 07844

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PCAD id: 2219

City of Everett, City Hall, Everett, WA1928-1930EverettWA
City of Seattle, Engineering Department (SED), Montlake Bridge, Seattle, WA1923-1925SeattleWA
Medical Dental Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA1924-1925SeattleWA
Metropolitan Building Company, Arena Building, Metropolitan Tract, Downtown, Seattle, WA 1915-1915SeattleWA
Metropolitan Building Company, Cobb, Charles H., Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA1909-1910SeattleWA
Metropolitan Building Company, Henry Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA 1908-1909SeattleWA
Metropolitan Building Company, Master Plan #1, Metropolitan Tract, Downtown, Seattle, WA1907SeattleWA
Metropolitan Building Company, Metropolitan Theatre, Metropolitan Tract, Downtown, Seattle, WA 1910-1911SeattleWA
Metropolitan Building Company, Stimson Medical Building, Metropolitan Tract, Downtown, Seattle, WA 1923-1925SeattleWA
Metropolitan Building Company, Stuart, Elbridge A., Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA 1914-1915
Metropolitan Building Company, University Place Gas Station, Metropolitan Tract, Seattle, WA 1924-1924
Metropolitan Building Company, White, Chester F., Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA 1908-1909
Metropolitan Building Company, White-Henry-Stuart Building Annex, Downtown, Seattle, WA 1922SeattleWA
Metropolitan Building Company, White-Henry-Stuart Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA 1908-1915SeattleWA
Monte Cristo Hotel, Everett, WA1925EverettWA
Northern Life Insurance Company, Office Building #2, Downtown, Seattle, WA1928-1929SeattleWA
Rivoli Building, Seattle, WA1910SeattleWA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, Saint Joseph Church #2, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA1929-1930SeattleWA
Royal Insurance Company, Limited, Headquarters Building #2, Financial District, San Francisco, CA1907-1909San FranciscoCA
Seattle Railroad and Marine Terminal Project, Seattle, WASeattleWA
Smith, Deette McAuslan, House, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA1926SeattleWA
United States Housing Corporation, South Court Apartments, Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, WA1918BremertonWA
University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Condon, John T., Hall #1, Seattle, WA1931-1933SeattleWA
University of Washington, Seattle (UW), New Infirmary Building1934-1935SeattleWA
Women's University Club, Downtown, Seattle, WA1921-1922SeattleWA
Yakima Presbyterian Church, Yakima, WAYakimaWA
Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), Building #4, Downtown, Seattle, WA1929-1931SeattleWA
"Color Gradation of Brickwork in Northern Life Tower Inspired by Nature", American Architect, CXXXVII: 2580, 34-35, 94, 96, 1930-02. "A city within a city", Architect, 11: 1, 1916-01. Johnston, Norman J., "Gowen and Smith Halls", Campus Guide University of Washington, 29-30, 2001. "Abraham Horace Albertson", Capitol's Who's Who for Seattle 1939-1941, 546-547, 574, 1939. Hines, Neal O., Denny's Knoll: A History of the Metropolitan Tract of the University of Washington, 173, 1980. Hines, Neal O., Denny's Knoll: A History of the Metropolitan Tract of the University of Washington, 1980. Hines, Neal O., Denny's Knoll: A History of the Metropolitan Tract of the University of Washington, 173, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 122, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "YMCA", Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 124, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 1932", Guide to Architecture in Washington State: An Environmental Perspective, 164-165, 1980. Kreisman, Lawrence, Historic Preservation in Seattle, 34, 1985. Howells and Albertson, A.H. Albertson, architects, Seattle: Successors to Howells and Stokes, Royal Insurance Company's Building in San Francisco, 1909. "New Stimson Building Adds to Metropolitan Grouping", Seattle Daily Times, 20, 01/25/1925. "Seattle Building Program Downtown Four Millions; Major Projects Under Way or Completed Show Uptrend", Seattle Sunday Times, 18, 10/23/1921. "Work Will Start Soon on New Cobb Building", Seattle Sunday Times, 7, 05/30/1909. Upchurch, Michael, "History set in stone", Seattle Times, C1-C2, 07/22/2008. "Death takes Abraham Albertson", Seattle Times, 29, 1964-04-19. "U.W. hall renamed to honor pioneer in Oriental Studies", Seattle Times, 13, 1977-07-21. Dorpat, Paul, "Towers of power and light", Seattle Times, 22, 11/21/2010. Williams, David B., Seattle Walks: Discovering History and Nature in the City, 68-69, 2017. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson, and Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 167, 1994. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson, and Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 165, 1994. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson, and Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 164, 1994. Viladas, Pilar, "Albertson, Wilson, and Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 164, 1994. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson, and Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 166-167, 1994. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson & Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 162, 1994. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson & Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 163, 1994. Andersen, Dennis A., "Édouard Frère Champney", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 135, 164, 1994. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson, and Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 165, 1994. Provost, Caterina, "Henry W. Bittman", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 194, 1994. Veith, Thomas, "Albertson, Wilson & Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 162-163, 1994. Arena Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA, "Albertson, Wilson & Richardson", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 163, 1994. "The New Souvenir Tower Policy", Town Crier, XXIII: 50, 86, 12/15/1928. "Stained Glass: An Ancient Art", Town Crier, XXIII: 50, 52, 55, 12/15/1928. University of Washington's Metropolitan Properties, n.p., c. 1951.