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Authority record

James R. Merritt

  • 2.2.1
  • Person

James R. Merritt, a native of Tacoma, graduated from the University of Washington College of Architecture and Urban Planning in 1970. He became a registered architect with the State of Washington in 1973. In 1975, he co-founded Glassie-Merritt where he was as a principal architect until 1979. He then went on to hold this role with several other firms including Tsang-Merritt (1979-1984), Merritt Associates (1984), Merritt + Pardini (1984-1998), Merritt + Pardini/PMX (1998-2001), and Merritt Arch (2001-present). He and his firms worked on a number of projects across Tacoma and the broader northwestern United States including the restoration of the Tacoma Union Station, the Pinkerton Building, and the Rialto Theatre.

Sutton, Whitney, and Dugan Architectural Firm

  • 2.2.2
  • Business
  • c. 1912-c.1973

The architectural firm of Albert Sutton and Harrison Allen Whitney operated in Portland, Oregon, from 1912-1950. After 1934 the firm name included Fred Aandahl, who had been a chief draftsman (1919-1923) and Associate (1923-1934). (1) The firm of Sutton, Whitney, and Dugan's projects included “the National Bank of Tacoma Building (1921), the W.R. Rust Building (1920), Scottish Rite Cathedral (1921), Annie Wright Seminary (1924), the campus of the College of Puget Sound (1923-1924; renamed the University of Puget Sound in 1960), and numerous residences.” (1) In 1927, a committee of Washington State architects for the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects conducted an architectural survey of all buildings in Tacoma. The committee presented awards to exceptional projects, and Sutton & Whitney received more than other Tacoma firms.(1) The highest Honor Award was given to the National Bank of Tacoma, and the College of Puget Sound and Annie Wright Seminary also received Honor Awards. “Sutton and Whitney received eleven awards from the committee for work ranging from commercial buildings to residences and schools.” (1)

Albert Sutton (1867-1923)
Albert Sutton was born on June 6, 1867, in Victoria, British Columbia; however, Sutton grew up in Portland, Oregon. (1) After attending the University of California Berkeley, he worked as a draftsman for the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1888 Sutton moved to Tacoma and formed a partnership with James Pickles. (1) Sutton and Pickles designed commercial buildings in Tacoma, including the “Sprague Block (1888); the Sprague Building (1980); the U.S. Post Office (1889); the Abbot Building (1889); the Uhlman Block (1889); the Baker Building (1889); the Wolf Building (1889); the Joy Block (1882); the Berlin Building (1892); the Dougan Block (1890); and the Holmes & Ball Furniture Co. (1890).” (1) The pair also designed the Wilson Hotel (1890) in Anacortes, but their partnership ended in 1893. (1)

Afterward, Sutton began a partnership with Ambrose J. Russell between 1893 and 1895. (1) After his partnership with Russell ended, Sutton moved to San Francisco and worked primarily with Charles Peter Weeks. The firm Sutton & Weeks was established around 1901 and lasted until 1910. (1) Sutton then returned to the Northwest and opened a practice in Hood River, Oregon. (1) He partnered with Harrison A. Whitney of Portland in 1912 and returned to Portland in 1916. Sutton returned to Tacoma in 1918 to establish a Tacoma branch of Sutton & Whitney with Earl A. Dugan as an associate. (1) Sutton was an American Institute of Architects (AIA) member and a Mason. On November 18, 1923 Albert Sutton passed away in Tacoma due to a heart attack. He was 56. (1)

Harrison Allen Whitney (1877-1962)
Harrison A. Whitney was originally from Iowa and was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Whitney worked in Boston and Chicago then moved to Portland, Oregon, in 1904 where he was head draftsman for Whidden & Lewis. While working for Whidden and Lewis, Whitney contributed designs for the Lewis and Clark Exposition and the Multnomah County Courthouse.(2) Whitney began partnering with Sutton in 1912.(2) When the firm of Sutton, Whitney, and Aandahl was dissolved in 1951, Whitney became the senior member of Whitney, Hinson, and Jacobsen.(3)

Earl Nathaniel Dugan (1877-1956)
Earl N. Dugan was born in Perry, Iowa and in 1906 he graduated from the University of Illinois. (4) Dugan worked in Chicago and San Francisco before moving to Tacoma to work as a draftsman in 1910. “Dugan exhibited a sketch of German city hall at the Seattle Architectural Club's 1910 Exhibition.” (5) Dugan partnered with Sutton and Whitney’s firm in 1922 and he also worked with Mock and Morrison. (4) Dugan was the founding member of the Tacoma Society of Architects and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington State Chapter. (4)(5) He died at age 79 on 12/22/1956 in Seattle, WA. (5).

John H. Sutton
John H. Sutton was the son of Albert and Mary Sutton. He was born in Hood Canal, Oregon, and moved to Tacoma in 1920. (6) He graduated from Stadium High School and attended the University of Washington. Like his father, John H. Sutton worked as an architect, and in 1957 he designed the first addition to the Annie Wright Seminary since his father designed the building in 1924. (6) John H. Sutton was a member of the Tacoma Golf and Country Club, the Little Church on the Prairie, the American Institute of Architects, and the Tyee member of the University of Washington Alumni Association. He passed away on August 1, 1973. (6)