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Letters from an Architect: the Interior Design and Decoration of a turn-of-the-century Seattle Mansion

Saturday, March 20, 2021 | All Events (see all)

Please click here for the program recording on Historic Seattle’s YouTube channel. 

For a deeper dive into the Stimson legacy and preservation in our region, we invite you to purchase two of Larry’s books from our online store. Prices include sales tax, shipping, and handling. (Please allow 6-10 days for delivery.)

Join us for an exciting deep-dive into the story, design, and construction of the Stimson residence (now the Stimson-Green Mansion) from Lawrence Kreisman.

The Spokane architect Kirtland Cutter’s Seattle residence for Charles Douglas Stimson (1899-1901) introduced the English half-timbered style into Washington State at a scale that had not been attempted before. Cutter combined the ornamental vocabularies of classical, Romanesque, Moorish, Gothic, and Renaissance styles into successful residential architecture that balances grandeur and intimacy to allow for both the formal and the casual moments in his client’s lives. Cutter was also influenced by English Arts and Craft designers, most notably William Morris, Philip Webb, Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott, and Norman Shaw. He appreciated vernacular as well as high style. Indeed, he was comfortable designing rustic Swiss chalets as he was in creating mansions.

Cutter was equally committed to interiors and furnishings. His almost obsessive devotion to detail resulted in rooms that were historically derived stage sets for living and entertaining. His work set a precedent and offered a prototype that would be copied and embellished by a host of local designers in the first decade of the twentieth century. Correspondence from Cutter, along with inventory and documentary interior photographs, provide a rare, complete picture of the design industry and designer/client relationships at the turn of the twentieth century.

Lawrence Kreisman, Hon. AIA Seattle, was Program Director of Historic Seattle for 20 years and Director of the Seattle Architecture Foundation tour program from 1990-2003. He is recognized for significant work in bringing public attention to design history, the Northwest’s architectural heritage, and its preservation through courses, tours, exhibitions, lectures, articles, and 11 books

Cover photo by Nathan Tain (2016)

Historic Seattle’s virtual programming is funded in part by a grant from the Eldridge Campbell Stockton Fund for Washington of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


March 20, 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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