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Male, US, born 1912-01-12, died 1986-02-06

Associated with the firm network

Yamasaki, Minoru, and Associates

Professional History


Draftsman, Githens and Keally, New York, NY, 1935-1937.

Designer, Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, Architects, New York, NY, 1937-1943.

Designer, Harrison and Fouilhoux, Architects, New York, NY, 1943-1944.

Designer, Raymond Loewy Associates, New York, NY, 1944-1945.

Chief Architectural Designer, Smith, Hinchman and Grylls, Detroit, MI, 1945-1949;

Principal, Minoru Yamasaki and Associates, Troy, MI, 1949-1986;

Partner, Yamasaki, [Joseph] Leinweber and Associates, Detroit, MI, 1949-1955.

Partner, Leinweber, Yamasaki and Helmmuth, Saint Louis, MO, 1949-1955.


Instructor of Water Color, New York University, New York, NY, 1935-1936.

Instructor of Architectural Design, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1943-1945.

Professional Activities

Yamasaki delivered a keynote speech during the festivities held for the 50th anniversary of the University of Washington's College of Architecture and Urban Planning on 05/15/1964. An article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer described the planned 50th anniversary event: "The 5oth anniversary of the University of Washington's College of Architecture and Urban Planning will be celebrated Friday with the theme, Environment and Education: 1914, 1964, 2014. Minoru Yamasaki, Detroit architect and 1934 graduate of the University who was the University's most Distinguished Alumnus in 1960, will deliver the annual Student Awards Address at a 6:30 p.m. banquet in the Student Union Bldg ballroom. Other alumni will speak from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Student Union auditorium. A noon luncheon in the ballroom will be followed by a series of talks by teachers from other schools of architecture and the University at 2 p.m. in the Architecture auditorium. An open house will be held in Architecture Hall from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. featuring exhibits by practising professional architects. An Art and Architecture Pavilion has been built in front of the Student Union Bldg, as a cooperative venture of Atelier, architectural honorary and Parnassus, art honorary, and will be open day and evening for two weeks beginning tomorrow." (See "UW Architect School Will Mark 50th Year," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 05/10/1964, p. 14.)

Professional Awards

Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award, University of Washington, Seattle, 1960.


The Syracuse University Library, Special Collections Research Center, has a small collection of Minoru Yamasaki's papers (.5 linear feet), covering the years 1961-1965; they are described as: "Papers of the artist, architect. Includes project files with photographs and working papers, undated manuscripts, and other material. Projects include Dhahran Air Terminal in Saudi Arabia, the United States Pavilion at the World's Fair in Seattle, Washington, and the World Trade Center in New York City."

The University of Washington Libraries Special Collection Division holds five student drawings by Yamasaki. They include: 1.) Gateway to an artillery school (Sophomore, 1931); 2.) Planetarium and aquarium (Senior, 1932-1933); 3.) American Embassy in Soviet Russia (5thyear, 1933-1934); 4.) Architecture Building for the University of Washington (5thyear, 1934); 5.) County Courthouse (5thyear, 1933).



B.Arch., University of Washington, Seattle, 1930-1934. Coursework, New York University, New York, NY, 1934.



Architect Minoru Yamasaki was born in Seattle, WA, on 01/12/1912.

Yamasaki died in Detroit, MI, on 02/06/1986.


His father was also named Minoru Yamasaki, born 01/06/1893 in Japan. In 10/12/1918, Yamasaki had a permanent residence in Seattle, WA, but worked as a laborer in Port Angeles, WA. His father's nearest relative at the time was Yasaburo Yamasaki, who resided at that time in New York, NY.

His mother was Hana Yamasaki (born c. 1893 in Mojimura, Kuromata-ken, Japan).

Minoru had a younger brother, Kenneth Yamasaki (born c. 1917 in Seattle, WA).


He married Teruko Hirashiki of Los Angeles, CA, on 12/05/1941.


Yamasaki had three children: Carol, Taro, and KIm.

Biographical Notes

Yamasaki, his parents and brother took an excursion to Victoria, BC, Canada, on 06/30/1928. (See, Source Citation Library and Archives Canada; 1908-1935 Border Entries; Roll: T-15359 Source Information Canada, Border Crossings from U.S. to Canada, 1908-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008, accessed 11/10/2021.)

On 12/05/1956 Minoru Yamasaki returned to Seattle, WA, from Tokyo, Japan on Northwest Airlines Flight 174V.

Associated Locations

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

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PCAD id: 223

Yamasaki, Minoru, "20 Century Plaza Towers", A Life in Architecture, 150-155, 1979. Yamasaki, Minoru, "24 Rainier Bank Tower", A Life in Architecture, 168-170, 1979. Yamasaki, Minoru, "7 Federal Science Pavilion", A Life in Architecture, 70-75, 1979. Yamasaki, Minoru, "13 IBM Office Building, University Properties, Inc.", A Life in Architecture, 104-106, 1979. Yamasaki, Minoru, "12 Century Plaza Hotel", A Life in Architecture, 97-103, 1979. Olson, Sheri,, "Pride and prejudice: Minoru Yamasaki's Seattle legacy", Arcade, 23: 2, 10-13, 2004 Winter. "Theme Building for Seattle's Century 21 Exposition", Architect and Engineer, 220: 12-13, 1960-07. "The Century Plaza: A Resort in Mid-City", Architectural Record, 08/1966. "The Fair Becomes Seattle Center", Architectural Record, 133: 2, 02/1963. "Seattle Votes for Architecture ", Architectural Record, 130: 95-106, 1961-08. "Soaring ribbed vaults to dominate Yamasaki's design for Seattle fair", Architectural Record, 128: 147-148, 1960-08. "Unusual structural wall for IBM in Seattle", Architectural Record, 104-107, 12/1963. Juhasz, Joseph B., "Yamasaki, Minoru", Contemporary Architects, 1994. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 128, 1980. Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 127, 1980. "U.S. Architectural Landmarks in Concrete", Journal of the American Institute of Architects, 46: 4, 69, 10/1966. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, 134, 1994. Dizon, Kristin, "A movie and a view", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, C1, 08/04/2007. "U's '60 distrinquished alumnus architect", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 14, 04/22/1960. Cheek, Lawrence W., "Architectural Bummers", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, C1, C2, 09/25/2007. "U.W. Graduates Ready for Degree", Seattle Sunday Times, 12, 06/17/1934. "Hall of Science architect has impressive record: Minoru Yamasaki", Seattle Times, 3, 01/23/1960. Upchurch, Michael, "History set in stone", Seattle Times, C1-C2, 07/22/2008. "Ex-cannery worker to be honored by fellow U.W. Alumni", Seattle Times, 1, 04/21/1960. Farr, Sheila, "The history of museums: a history of our times", Seattle Times, "The Architect was told 'World Trade' so he Planned Big", Smithsonian Magazine, 01/1978. "A slight man ten feet tall: Minoru Yamasaki", Washington Alumnus, 11, 30, Spring 1960.