Brochures and Maps
"Be sure to wear walking shoes. Lovely gardens are an integral part of the Tour." -- Ageless Architecture: Eleventh Annual Exhibit of Architecture in the Highlands (1960)
The Residential Architecture Tours were fundraisers for the museum, and the brochures often acted as ticket, map, and guide, all in one. Founded by Mrs. Herbert Brink, the first tour was in 1950, featuring tours of six homes with one hosting tea.
Changes of the era and of the museum were marked through these small publications. Typewritten and mimeographed pieces of paper gave way to professionally designed brochures featuring multitonal paper and printing. The cost increased from 50 cents all the way up to $7.50 by 1980.
There were also constants through the years. The tours ran on Thursdays, from roughly 10 to 5. They returned to certain neighborhoods frequently, sometimes revisiting houses from previous tours. The first tour featured houses from Broadmoor and Washington Park, and the last tour featured houses from Washington Park and Denny-Blaine.
The works, and houses, of many prominent local architects appear frequently, featuring classic architecture, new construction contemporaneous with the exhibitions, and remodels by younger architects. Architects such as William J. Bain, George Stoddard, Roland Terry, Lionel Pries and Norman J. Johnston opened their own doors to the tours, and many more local architects were featured frequently.Items in this collection are .pdf documents. Click on an image to explore the document.
The first ten years of tours had a hard time leaving the orbit of Lake Washington. The exhibitions visited the Washington Park and Broadmoor area five times, the Windermere and Laurelhurst area three times, one trip to Seward Park, and one travelling across the lake to Bellevue.
In this decade, the exhibitions stretched themselves as far north as the Highlands, and as far south as Des Moines and Normandy Park, south of the airport. It was still hard to pull away from old haunts, both to see new sites in previously visited neighborhoods, and because that was simply where the patrons and participants lived.
The 1970s marked the tours' first forays into highrise architecture, and saw the end of the Residential Architecture Tours in 1980. The tour continued to visit neighborhoods both old and new, incorporating both new developments and revisiting residences that had not been featured since the 1950s.
In 1978, when the blockbuster Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibition had taken over Seattle, perhaps sapping most of the planning committee's time, the architectural tour did not take place.