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Honors Archive : Keith Kolb FAIA

Original posting: March 2002
Curator: Marga Rose Hancock Hon. AIA

Keith R. Kolb FAIA, a native of Montana, earned the Basic Engineering Degree in 1944 from Rutgers University's US Army Specialized Training Program, before going on to take the BArch cum laude from the University of Washington in 1947. He became the only teacher of architectural design at Montana State College (1947-49), until becoming "disillusioned with teaching" and proceeding to Harvard GSD for the MArch in 1950. He spent two years with Walter Gropius and The Architects Collaborative in Cambridge, where he declined a partnership offer to return to Seattle. Then UW CAUP Dean Arthur Herrman urged Keith to develop a career combining teaching and practice, with an appointment commencing in 1952.

Over the next four decades until his 1990 designation as Professor Emeritus of the UW College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Keith carried an academic load while developing a significant practice that produced an impressive array of projects focused on community institutional plans and structures and an estimable residential portfolio. Among the most highly visible of his designs: educational facilities and college buildings at three of the state's higher education institutions, an award-winning branch bank for Seattle First National Bank; expansion of US Postal Facilities at the University Station Post Office, and a unique central facility for Seattle's Puget Sound Blood Center.

His "human projects" as a teacher include design professionals now working around the US and the world who cite his influence on them as mentor and role model for thoughtful design practice. Recogizing his work to advance the profession, the AIA College of Fellows inducted Keith Kolb in 1981.

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Keith Kolb FAIA

In Seattle Times Pacific Northwest 3/19/06, Dean Stahl interviewed Keith Kolb FAIA in the Laurelhurst home the architect designed for his famly in 1960, in 'A life of structure'

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