Bruce M. Walker 1923 - 2005

Bruce M. Walker

Born and raised in Spokane, Bruce Morris Walker, began his formal architectural training at the University of Washington in 1941.  However, before completing school, he was drafted into the Navy during WWII and was sent to Midshipmen school.  After being released from active duty in 1947, he completed his education and received his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture in June of that year.  During school, Walker gained valuable experience by working for architect Bliss Moore in Seattle.  Then upon graduation he returned home and went to work for a short time for architect E.J. Peterson and then for the firm of McClure & Adkison. 

A gifted student, Walker continued his architectural education in Boston, and graduated with a Master’s degree from the Harvard School of Design in 1951.  During school he worked for firm Glazer & Gray in Boston, and for the Architects Collaborative.  While in graduate school he won several national design competitions including first prize in a joint NAHB and Architectural Forum small house competition.

After traveling and studying in Europe on the Appleton Traveling Fellowship, Walker returned to Spokane and opened his own practice in 1952.  In 1953 he formed a lasting partnership with John W. McGough.    In the late 1950s, William "Bill" Trogdon" joined the partnership.  Together the firm pushed the architectural envelope in the Inland Northwest and created many award winning projects over the next 30+ years.

Walker, McGough, Trogdon Letterhead, 1959Benefiting from the post-war boom, the firm grew fast, designing many college and institutional facilities throughout the state of Washington.  They also designed many residences, commercial buildings, and public facilities.  Notable projects included Joel E. Ferris II House (1954); Ridpath Motor Inn (1963); Washington Mutual Savings Bank (1964); the Kamiak Apartments (1964) in Pullman; Stephenson Residence Center, Bldg. "D" (1967) and McEachern Residence Hall (c.1972) at WSU; Spokane Opera House (1974); Farm Credit Bank (1979); Central Pre-mix Concrete Co Headquarters (1980); and the Metropolitan Financial Center (1982).

With business thriving, the firm opened a Seattle branch office in 1963 with 12 employees.  Projects on the west side of Cascades included the World of Commerce and Industry Building (1962) at the Seattle World’s Fair; Kane Hall (1971) and the Plant Services building (1963) at the U of W; the Communications Laboratory (1977) at the Evergreen State College; and Padelford Hall (1966) at the U of W which received a Seattle AIA merit award.

In 1966 Walter Foltz and Robert Nixon (later replaced by Jack Lyerla) became partners in the growing firm, which by the end of the year had reached 30 full time employees.  In the early years of the firm, James Jacobs headed the Interior Design Department and Donald McKinley, served as their chief spec writer. 

Functioning as a full scale architectural/engineering firm, throughout the 70's and the 80's the firm specialized in the planning and design of justice facilities.  Projects by the firm can be found throughout the United States.  Notable achievements by the firm for this building type include developing the industry standard for ballistics resistance glass which is still in use today.  In 1988 the firm evolved from a partnership to a professional services corporation and expanded its ownership.  In 1990 the last of the founding partners retired and today the firm is known as Integrus Architecture.

Over the years, many of the firm’s projects received local and national media attention including Streit-Perham Hall at WSU (1961) which was featured in Pacific Architect & Builder; the Convent of the Holy Names (1967) in Progressive Architecture (National AIA Honor Award Winner 1969); the Shoshone Co. Public Safety Building (1972) in Wallace ID featured in Architectural Forum; and the WA Institute for Women (1971) in Gig Harbor which was featured in Architectural Record

Later in life, Walker served as an adjunct architectural facility member at the WSU campus in Spokane.  Honoring his long term impact on the built environment in the Pacific Northwest, in March 1999, the Spokane Interdisciplinary Design Institute held a retrospective exhibit of his work.  Walker passed away in Spokane in April 2005 at the age of 81.  John McGough, a University of Idaho graduate, passed away in June of 2005.

By Michael Houser, State Architectural Historian - June 2008

 

Bibliography

WA State Architectural License - June 22, 1948.

Ideas for Planning Your New Home, Sunset, Lane Publishing, Menlo, CA 1967

Walker, McGough & Trogdon Project List - compiled by M. Houser, Dec 2011.

"Auto Accessory Store Planned", The Spokesman Review - Feb 21, 1960

Obituary, The Spokesman Review - April 17, 2005

"Where Architects Hang There Hats", Pacific Architect & Builder - Sept 1967.

"Jews to Pick Liaison Group for Architect", Spokane Daily Chronicle- April 4, 1966

"Proposed Building", Spokane Daily Chronicle- December 18, 1962.

"Workers Speed "Home of 1952"", Spokane Daily Chronicle- August 1, 1951.

"Architect Wins $1,250 in Prizes", The Spokesman Review - March 8, 1952.

"Architect Named to Education Unit", Spokane Daily Chronicle- February 7, 1967.

"New Dorm Plans Eyed by Regents", Spokane Daily Chronicle- April 21, 1964.

"Art Work Center Need is Stressed", Spokane Daily Chronicle - May 18, 1949.

"Architect Criticizes School Board Decision", Spokane Daily Chronicle - August 23, 1956.

"Coulee City's High School to Boast Adjustable Walls", Spokane Daily Chronicl e- April 4, 1966

"Architect Talks to YWCA Group", Spokane Daily Chronicle - November 19, 1952.

"Architects Warn Against Hasty Civic Center Plan", Spokane Daily Chronicle - May 8, 1959.

"Architect to Speak", Spokane Daily Chronicle - March 5, 1958.

"Bids Are Close On Apartments", Spokane Daily Chronicle - June 2, 1954.

"Family Needs Heeded in Home", The Spokesman Review - July 7, 1951.

"Fountain Opens", Spokane Daily Chronicle - October 8, 1959.

"Clothing Store To Gain Space", Spokane Daily Chronicle - February 15, 1957.

"Unusual Homes To Be Viewed", Spokane Daily Chronicle - September 15, 1961.

"Like Prize Home", Spokane Daily Chronicle - April 16, 1952.

"3 New Projects Added to 'Acceleration'List", Spokane Daily Chronicle - July 5, 1961.

"Four Officiers Are Elected by Temple", The Spokesman Review - April 6, 1966.

"Memorial Youth Center Is Planned", Spokane Daily Chronicle - July 27, 1961.

"3000 Architect Plan Small House", The Age- May 22, 1951.

"Winning Entry in National Design Contest", The Milwaukee Journal- February 4, 1951.

"Model Home To Be Shown", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette- March 14, 1951.

"Fireplace Amazes Visitors at 'Home Builders Home'", Spokane Daily Chronicle - September 12, 1951.

"House Design Is Adapted to Times", Spokane Daily Chronicle - September 12, 1951.

"Thousands Visit Exhibited Homes", Spokane Daily Chronicle - September 10, 1951.

"This is an artist's conseption of the modern motor hotel.....", Spokane Daily Chronicle - November 20, 1961.

"Ridpath Hotel Detail Is Set", Spokesman Review- Apri 22, 1961.

"Plans Disclosed for Ridpath Inn", Spokane Daily Chronicle - November 15, 1961.

"Sunset Idea for Recreation Rooms", Sunset, Lane Publishing, Menlo, CA - 1968.

"Hexagonal Winodw Treatment Suggest Beehive of Activity at Residential Halls", Pacific Architect & Builder- July 1960.

A Selection of Contemporary Architecture in Spokane, Washington - AIA - 1967

"New Building Method Being Used", Seattle Times- December 12, 1965.

"House in Spokane.. An Entry Garden, A Family Garden, a Children's Garden", Sunset- May1961.

"Architect Wins $8,250 Because His Wife Kibitzed", Dallas Morning Tribune- February 27, 1957.

"3 Competed Century 21 Designs Asked", Seattle Times- January 26, 1961.

"Judges Select Winning State Architects", Seattle Times- November 12, 1961.

"Architect Winner to Travel", Seattle Times- July 27, 1951.

"S.A.E. Alums To Mark 107th Anniversary", Seattle Times- March 5, 1964.

"Capitol Campus Plans", Seattle Daily Times- March 1, 1966.

"Spokane has fine new Opera House", Seattle Daily Times- July 29, 1974.

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