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Charles F.W. Lundberg


Born in 1882, Charles Frederick W. Lundberg had reported practiced architecture in Coffeeville, Kansas before moving to Tacoma around 1906.   In 1908 he formed a short-lived partnership with Myron Potter which lasted for only a year. He subsequently practiced on his own.  His known early projects in Tacoma are limited to a club house on Day Island for the Tacoma Motor (Yacht) Club (1909); the Diagle Duplex (1911); the George Franzenburg House (1912); the H. Wohlfarth House (1912); the Landstrom Building (1912); the Hagenbuch House (1913); the Ruston City Hall (1913); and the Idle Hour Theater (1912).

In 1913, he entered into a new partnership with architect C. Frank Mahon.  Lundberg & Mahon had their offices in the Provident Building in downtown Tacoma. Both men received their Washington State architects’ licenses in 1919, the first year the state enacted the architects’ registration law.  Their firm was unique because it offered architectural design and engineering services.  A 1921 Tacoma Daily Ledger article described the firm: “Since the formation of the partnership in 1913 the firm has planned and supervised the construction of something more than 230 better class buildings, many of them institutions. Lundberg & Mahon represent the newer school of architecture, in that they have assimilated and combined an engineering department with their regular department of architecture, thereby enabling builders to place the entire business of construction in the hands of one firm, a great factor in efficient design and erection of the building, experts assert.” 

Lundberg & Mahon designed commercial, institutional, industrial, and residential buildings of varying sizes in Tacoma and other communities in western Washington. The firm had several commissions associated with the Catholic Church including their most notable work—the Gothic Revival style Holy Rosary Catholic Church (1920).  Other projects include the main administration building at Saint Martin’s College in Lacey,  Knights of Columbus Community Center and War Memorial Building (1921)  in Everett, and the C.O. Lynn Co. Funeral Home in Tacoma.

Extant examples of other work in Tacoma include: the Scandinavian Salvation Army (1914) at 1114 South 12th St., Antone Davis Building/Spar Restaurant (1916) at 2121-23 North 30th St., Steam Baking Co. (1917) at 913-15 Center St., Sauriol-Martin Building/Orpheum Theater (1919) at 5442-44 South Tacoma Way, Northern Pacific Bank (1914) at 5446-48 South Tacoma Way, City Transfer and Storage Co. (1916) at 615 Tacoma Ave. S., and the P.N. Wallerich House (1923) at 3634 North Stevens St.  Most of the commercial buildings are one to three stories in height, constructed of masonry, and vernacular in nature and are not excellent examples of their work. 

Lundberg & Mahon dissolved their partnership in 1923 after ten years in business together.  Mahon took over their Seattle office and Lundberg remained in Tacoma and opened up his own office.  In 1925, Clarence O. Lynn commissioned Lundberg to design his private residence at 702 North C Street.   In 1926, Lundberg entered into a shortlived partnership with A. Frederick Ekvall. Mahon and Lundberg reunited in 1929 and formed a partnership with Ekvall becoming Lundberg, Mahon, & Ekvall, with offices in Tacoma and Seattle.  The firm dissolved in 1941 when Lundberg retired and moved to Whidbey Island.  After a long illness, Lundberg died in 1964 at the age of 82. 

Adapated from C.O. Lynn Co. Funeral Home NR nomination - Eugenia Woo