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Male, born 1918-08-28, died 2011-03-21

Associated with the firms network

Graham, John and Company, Architects and Engineers; Harrison, Alvin B., Architect; Thiry, Paul, AIA, Architect

Professional History


Architect, Paul Thiry, Sr., Architect, Seattle, WA, 1948; (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1948, p. 563.) By 1951, the city directory of that year indicated that he was Thiry's Office Manager. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1951, p. 535.)

Architect, John Graham and Company, Architects, Seattle, WA. Harrison moved from the Thiry Office to Graham's in either 1952 or 1953. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1953, p. 578.) He was made an Associate of John Graham and Company in 1958. (See "Graham Co. Adds Partners, Associates," Seattle Times, 10/05/1958, p. 39.) Eighteen employees were elevated to associate status in 10/1958, and five made partners.

Harrison was active in planning some of the Graham firm's most significant shopping malls, including Northgate, Southcenter, and others. In the 1950s, he lived in a residence of his own design on a hill above what would become the Southcenter Shopping Mall to the south.

The Seattle Times indicated in its issue of 05/25/1969: "Alvin B. Harrison also will continue as managing architect but will work with [David M.] Checkley on the development, planning and programming of shopping centers." (See "Eight Appointments Announced," Seattle Times, 05/25/1969, p. A7.)

Alvin B. Harrison was made a Partner of John Graham and Company in 07/1962. (See "T-Square Talk," Architecture / West. vol. 68, no. 8, 08/1962, p. 10.)

Professional Service

Harrison joined the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Seattle Chapter, in 1965.



B.A. Architecture, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, c. 1939. M.A., Architecture, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, c. 1940-1941. At Tulane, Harrison was a member of the Architectural Society. The 1939 Tulane University Yearbook (n.p.) indicated that Harrison was also a member of Gargoyle, an honorary architecture society, and the University Theatre.



Born in New Orleans, LA, Alvin B. Harrison lived with his parents at 1733 Short Street in that city in 1920. At the time, the household included his parents and his mother's brother, R. Rosenfield (born c. 1899 in LA). Rosenfield worked as a cotton classer in 1920. (See, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: New Orleans Ward 16, Orleans, Louisiana; Roll: T625_625; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 265; Image: 482, accessed 01/19/2017.) In 1930, the family owned a comfortable 14th Ward house near Audubon Park worth approximately $8,000.

Alvin attended Tulane University from 1936 until 1939. On 10/16/1940, Harrison indicated that his permanent address was at 7214 Oak Street in New Orleans. He moved to Cambridge, MA, to matriculate at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design sometime in the fall of 1940. In late 1940, he lived at 1130 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.

Harrison resided at 5702 South 152nd Street in Seattle, WA from at least 1948 through 1953. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1948, p. 563 and Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1953, p. 578.)

In 1992, he was recorded as living at the Maple Leaf Apartments, 7415 Woodlawn Avenue NE, Seattle, WA. (See Source Information U.S. Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010, accessed 10/20/2016.) The Washington Death Index indicated that he last resided in Snohomish, WA.


His father, Abraham Harrison (born c. 1892 in TX), worked as a motion picture theatre manager according to the US Census of 1920. By 1930, he may have changed his line of work to making dentures. His mother was Hilda Rosenfield Harrison (1896-1984). She and Abraham divorced sometime in the 1930s.

Hilda, in 1940, lived with her 16-year-old daughter, Dora, at 7214 Oak Street, New Orleans, LA. In 1940, Hilda was divorced and worked as an investigator in a social services agency. She died in Los Angeles, CA, at the age of 88.


He was married to Sarah Helen K. Harrison from at least 1948 until 1953. She passed away during childbirth on 05/02/1958.

On 12/05/1958, he married Betty J. Munro (1914-2009) in Bellevue, WA. She was 44 years old and he, 40. She worked as a secretary in the John Graham and Company Office. This was her second marriage. Her first husband, Gerald F. Munro, ran the Aurora Tavern, Incorporated, in 1938. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1938, p. 1156.) She lived in Tacoma, WA, in 1940.


Alvin and Sarah Harrison had five children, three boys and two girls. The sons were Philip, Berton, (born c. 1948 in Seattle, WA), and Howard. A daughter was born on 09/22/1955. (See "Born Yesterday," Seattle Times, 09/23/1955, p. 45.) The fifth child, a daughter, died with her mother in childbirth. (Thank you to Charles Tyson, a family friend in Tukwila, WA, for supplying some of this information about the Harrison Family.)

Philip Harrison attended Foster High School, Tukwila, WA, and went on to study astronomy at Harvard University, Class of 1968. Berton Harrison became the Salutatorian of his class at Foster High School in 1966. (See "Foster High School Picks Valedictorian," Seattle Times, 05/12/1966, p. 31.)

Biographical Notes

In 1940, Harrison's World War II Draft Registration Card listed him as being 5-feet, 10-inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion. The registration card also noted that Harrison had a scar on his right elbow and a scar from an appendectomy. (See, Source Citation The National Archives at Fort Worth, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Louisiana, First Registration Draft Cards, compiled 1940-1945.; Record Group: RG 147, Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975, accessed 01/19/2017.)

In 03/1954, Harrison ran for a South Central School District #406 spot against Arland C. Radford and defeated him 893-723 for a second two-year term. (See "Notice of Elections," Seattle Times, 03/05/1954, p. 11 and "Balloting Result in Kent Still in Doubt," Seattle Times, 03/10/1954, p. 16.) Harrison was made the Treasurer of the King County School Directors' Association in 1956. (See "Thompson Elected to County Group," Seattle Times, 06/13/1956, p. 14.)

Associated Locations

PCAD id: 5797