Born in Chatham, Illinois in 1923, Albert Orin Bumgardner graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in architecture in 1949. Later that year he came to Seattle and worked for a variety of architectural firms including Ralph Burkhart & Associates. In 1953 he started an independent practice that, over the next 30+ years, produced many local, regional and national award winning projects.
Bumgardner and/or his firm received Seattle AIA Honor Awards in on a regular basis from 1954 to 1975. Among his more notable projects is the Chester Bartholomew House (16258 25th W., Seattle), which took the 1960 AIA Home of the Year Award. In the 1960s and 1970s, his practice expanded and he took on several new partners including fellow David Wright, Mark Simpson, Jenny Sue Brown, and Al Dryer. Renamed the Bumgardner Partnership, the firm expanded beyond the original small-scale practice, to design a variety of large commercial and institutional buildings including the Evergreen State College Seminar Building (1972) and Residence Halls (1971-72), the Port Ludlow Beach Club (1972), the South Campus Center at the University of Washington (1974), the Tulalip Community Center (1974), the Summit Tower Apartments (1974), and the Watermark Tower (1983).
In 1971, Albert O. Bumgardner was elected a fellow to the AIA and in 1987 he received the AIA Seattle Medal. Appointed to a variety of local and state commission, councils and committees, he acted as an editor/consultant to Pacific Architect & Builder magazine and served on Seattle’s first design committee.