Male, born 1930-04-17, died 1992-04-07

Professional History


Service, US Army, Company A, 17th Infantry, 08/06/1946-1947.

Service, US Army, New York National Guard, 02/19/1947- .

Librarian, Law firm, New York, NY, 1950.


Faculty member, University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Department of Architecture, 1961- ; In the late 1970s, Alden did pioneering research on wayfinding, how individuals navigate their ways through large buildings. At the UW, his early teaching foci were in the fields of history, photography and personal-environmental relations. According to James Donnette, in 1992 the UW's Associate Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning: "'[Richard Alden] was very concerned with the area of architecture that dealt with serving people.' In the 1960s he followed the architectural movement in which structure emphasizes not so much design and art but convenience and service, Donnette said." (See "Richard Alden, Professor With Belief In Socially Responsible Architecture," Seattle Times, 04/14/1992.)

Professional Activities

Alden spent the years 1986 and 1990 studying pedestrian behavior in Tokyo, Japan.



B.A., University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Seattle, WA, c. 1953-1957.



Richard Stokholm Alden was born in Wilmington, DE, on 04/17/1930 to Richard S. Alden and Emma Jean Andersen. (United States military records indicated an erroneous birthdate of 02/17/1929. See, Source Citation New York State Archives; Albany, New York; Collection: New York, New York National Guard Service Cards, 1917-1954; Series: B2001; Film Number: 41, accessed 02/08/2024.) His distinctive middle name was spelled "Stokholm," not with a "c."

In about 1946, Richard lived at 136 West 96th Street in New York, NY. By 1950, he lived with his mother in an apartment at 130 34th Street in New York. Emma Jean worked as a stenographer in a law firm, while Richard worked as a librarian possibly in the same law firm. (See, Source Citation National Archives at Washington, DC; Washington, D.C.; Seventeenth Census of the United States, 1950; Year: 1950; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: 4143; Page: 30; Enumeration District: 31-48, accessed 02/08/2024.)

As an umarried student at the UW, Alden lived at 3737 University Way, Apartment #1. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1953, p. 38.)

In 1954 and 1955, Alden lived with is wife N. Sue Alden at 4511 Ravenna Avenue in Seattle. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1954, p. 39 and Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1955, p. 39.)

In 1987, before his remarriage, he resided at 2368 Franklin Avenue East in Seattle. (See, Source Information U.S., Public Records Index, 1950-1993, Volume 1 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010, accessed 02/08/2024.)

He passed away in his Seattle residence from lung cancer. He was buried next to his mother in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Neenah, WI.


Alden was very close to his mother Emma Jean Andersen, (born 07/27/1904 in WI-d. 10/15/1983). Emma Jean was widowed early in life and lived with her son for many years. Her parents Andrew L. Andersen (born 1871-d. 01/01/1962) and


Richard first married another architect, N. Sue Harris Alden, in either 1953 or early 1954. Richard filed for divorce 18 years later, which was granted on 07/05/1972 in Seattle, WA. (See, Source Citation Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Washington, Divorce Index, 1968-1996, accessed 02/08/2024.)

They remarried on 08/25/1988 in Seattle, WA. Witnesses at their wedding included Mary Needham and the architect Morrison Jellison (1925-2016), another senior architect at NBBJ.

(On N. Sue Alden, see Marga Rose Hancock, "Sue Alden FAIA," accessed 09/16/2015.)

Biographical Notes

SSN: 111229830.


Associated Locations

PCAD id: 6770