University of Washington West Campus Student Housing Phase I
2012 AIA Seattle Honor Award
Photo Credit: Benjamin Benschneider
Omer Mithun (b. Marcus, Iowa; BArch U. of Minnesota 1942, graduate degree in naval achitecture, U. of Michigan 1945) directed construction and ship repair at the Naval Shipyards, Bremerton during WWII before taking employment at Naramore, Bain, Brady & Johanson in Seattle 1946-47. He established independent practice in 1949 in Bellevue, first Wilson-Mithun, later Mithun & Nesland; Mithun, Ridenour & Cochran; Mithun & Associates, and The Mithun Associates. After Mithun's death, the name changed to Mithun Bowman Emrich Group, later to Mithun Partners, and Mithun. In 1990 the firm Mithun moved to downtown Seattle, establishing a major presence in the Northwest – over the years producing numerous projects recognized by AIA Seattle Honor Awards among other successes.
In the early years, the firm's projects as well as Omer Mithun's civic involvement concentrated in Bellevue, where he served on and chaired the Bellevue Planning Commission 1953-72, and later the Medina Planning Commission.
Omer Mithun played a substantial role in the development of educational programs at the University of Washington Department of Architecture, influencing generations of students as a much-respected teacher. First appointed Assistant Professor 1950, he retired in 1982 at the rank of Professor.
The AIA College of Fellows inducted Omer Mithun in 1973, recognizing the national significance of his influence on the development of the profession.
Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects, ed. Jeffrey K. Ochsner FAIA (UW Press, 1994)
Good design makes a difference