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Male, born 1922-02-09, died 2019-01-24

Associated with the firms network

Architects Collaborative (TAC); Decker, Kolb and Stansfield, Architects; Kolb, Keith R., and Associates, Architects; Kolb, Keith, Architect; Moore and Massar, Architects

Professional History


Kolb was drafted into the US Army in 04/1943. He would spend time at Army camps in TX, NJ, CO, and CA, before shipping out to the European theatre.

Forward Observer, US Army, 1st Army, 104th Division, 1944-12/1945. Kolb was a member of the 104th Division that landed in Cherbourg, France, and would participate with British, Canadian and Polish counterparts in the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, fought on the Belgian-German border between 09/1944 and 12/1944. This participation caused the 104th Division significant casualties. The 104th was also active in the Battle of the Bulge during 12/1944-01/1945 in France, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. It fought in Germany in and near the cities of Düren, Merken, Huchem-Stammeln, Birkesdorf, North Düren, Köln, Honnef, Remagen, Medebach, Paderborn, Halle, Pretzsch and Leipzig.. It also participated in the liberation of the Nordhausen Concentration Camp.

Draftsman, Moore and Massar, Architects, Bellevue, WA, c. 1946.

Draftsman, The Architects Collaborative (TAC), Cambridge, MA, 1950-1952.

Senior Draftsman, [Ralf E.] Decker and [Waldo B.] Christenson, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1952-1954, 1966.

Principal, Keith R. Kolb, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1954-1964.

Principal, Keith R. Kolb and Associates, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1964-1966.

Partner, [Ralf E.] Decker, Kolb and [Jack C.] Stansfield, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1967- ; in 1970, the Office of Decker, Kolb and Stansfield, Architects, was located in room #1040 of the Washington Building, Seattle.

Partner, Kolb and Stansfield, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1971- .


Architectural Design Coordinator, Montana State College, Bozeman, MT, 1947-1949; Kolb did not have a particularly good experience teaching at Montana State; he hoped to set up a five-year architectural course of study within the land grant school's engineering school, but other faculty in the entire institution would not okay the plan. Two years after beginning in Bozeman, Kolb left for study at Harvard University.

Assistant/Associate Professor, University of Washington, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Seattle, WA, 1952- ; Kolb dropped to half-time teaching when President Charles Odegaard (1911-1999) decreed that architects could not practice outside of their teaching duties.

Professional Activities

Kolb joined the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Seattle Chapter, relatively late in life, in 1967.

When surveyed in 1970, Kolb indicated that he was a Registered Architect in the States of WA, CA, ID, MT and OR, and was also NCARB Certified.

Chairman, AIA, Seattle Chapter, Committee on Aesthetics, 1969.

Director, AIA, Seattle Chapter, Seattle, WA, 1970.

Professional Awards

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1981.

Recipient, University of Washington, Seattle (UW), College of Built Environments, Distinguished Faculty Award for Lifetime Achievement, Seattle, WA, 2018. The College of Built Environments said of his achievement in teaching at the UW in 2018: "Keith R. Kolb (b. 1922) graduated from UW in 1947; he joined the architecture faculty in 1952 and retired in 1990. Architecture students of the postwar years have called him the most 'student-oriented' member of the faculty. His professional practice career has been primarily recognized for design of commercial and institutional buildings." (See University of Washington, Seattle (UW), College of Built, "Ten honored with new CBE Distinguished Faculty Award for Lifetime Achievement," published 2018, accessed 08/02/2022.)


High School/College

Graduate, Billings High School, Billings, MT, 1940.

B.Arch., University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 1940-1943, 1947; Kolb went to school with Wendell Lovett (1922- ), with whom he was a good friend.

Kolb was enrolled in the US Army Specialized Training Program, Basic Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 1944.

Kolb applied to both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University for graduate school in architecture. He wanted to attend Harvard, where the famous Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius (1883-1969) taught, but did not hear from them until very late in the admission process. As a result, he began attending MIT, but withdrew soon after starting, when he finally heard about Harvard's admission.

M.Arch., Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA, 1949-1950. At Harvard, Gropius set up the design studio to have an equal mixture of 8 American-born students and 8 foreign-born students. This produced a sometimes discordant studio environment, one that Kolb found, at the time, difficult. He expressed his concern to Gropius who reassured him that one day he would see the importance of the exercise. Later in life, Kolb agreed that the process was important.

College Awards

Kolb was one of four University of Washington School of Architecture students inducted into the Iota Chapter of the Tau Sigma Delta Honorary Fraternity in 1943.

He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, University of Washington, Seattle, 1947.

Kolb won the Alpha Rho Chi Medal, University of Washington, Seattle, 1947.



Born in Billings, MT, Keith R. Kolb graduated from high school in 1940. He decided on attending one of two outstanding public universities of the time, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, and the University of Washington, Seattle. He chose the latter, enrolling there in the Fall of 1940. He attended the UW from 1940 until 1943, during which time he began a friendship with the noted UW Architecture Professor Lionel "Spike" Pries (1897-1968). In 1941, he was one of a small handful of students who lived in Pries's house and had access to his library and various collections. This exposure to Pries himself and his books and diverse tastes in collecting opened up a world of new ideas for Kolb. Thereafter, he maintained a 30-year friendship with his professor, that included Pries serving as Kolb's best man at his 1947 wedding.

Kolb was drafted into the US Army in 04/1943 during World War II, spending time at Camp Wolters, near Mineral Wells, TX, and then was sent to learn structural and electrical engineering at the US Army's Army Specialized Training Program at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, in 1944. He took two years of engineering classes in one year, and found that he didn't enjoy pure engineering. He then trained to become a forward observer at the Army's Camp Carson, near Colorado Springs, CO, before heading to Europe. He spent the latter half of 1944 and 1945 fighting with the US Army's 1st Army, 104th Division in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany.

He attended the University of Washington, Seattle, between 1945-1947; he went on to Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, between c. 1947-1950. He worked in Cambridge for a short time before returning to Seattle in 1952. Kolb spent his life working in private practice and teaching at the University of Washington, Seattle.

He passed away from complications due to cancer on 01/24/2019, two weeks shy of his 97th birthday.


Keith Kolb married Jacqueline S. Jump on 06/18/1947 in Seattle, WA.


Keith and Jacqueline had two sons: Bliss and Brooks. Brooks Kolb became a landscape architect practicing in Seattle.

Biographical Notes

President, University of Washington Alumni Association, Seattle, WA, 1958-1959.

Colonel in Charge, University of Washington Seattle United Good Neighbor Campaign, 1962-1963.

President, Laurelhurst Community Club, Seattle, WA, 1966-1967.

Associated Locations

  • Billings, MT (Architect's Birth)
    Billings, MT

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  • Alicia Park, Seattle, WA (Architect's Death)
    Alicia Park, Seattle, WA 98115

PCAD id: 4938