Noted Aberdeen architect Clarence William George was born on October 13, 1890 on Bainbridge Island in the community of Port Madison. He grew up in Tacoma and graduated from Stadium High School. Upon graduation he went to work for the architectural firm of Heath, Gove & Bell in Tacoma (1911-12), and then for the firm of Troutman & Haynes (1913-14) in Aberdeen. With practical experience at hand, George began his formal architectural education at the University of Washington (1915-1916). His studies howerver were cut short after being drafted in U.S. Army, serving overseas during WWI.
After the war, George returned to Aberdeen and became the chief draftsman for Troutman & Haynes (1919-1924). After Troutman left, George rose to the level of Associate in 1925. However, he decided to open his own firm the next year.
Noted projects included City Retail Lumber Company Building (1926) in Aberdeen; the Forague House (1926); the Weist House (1926); the Elks Temple in Aberdeen (1927 with Charles A. Haynes); the Norwegian/First Lutheran Church (1929) in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle; the Dudley-Carbery Building (1929) in Aberdeen; City Hall in Elma (1937); the Truck & Tractor Co. Office (1938) in Aberdeen; Trinity Lutheran Church (1941) in Aberdeen; Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and First Church of Christ Scientist, both in Aberdeen; the Oakhurst Tubercular Sanitarium (1942) in Elma; Moon Island Airport Terminal (1948) in Hoquiam; the YMCA Building (1950) in Aberdeen; and the Public Safety Building (1950) in Aberdeen.
Business went well for George. Reportedly by 1940 his office had grown to four draftsman and many of his designs were being featured in a variety of national and regional publications. It was during this time, from the 1930s through the 1950s, Aberdeen became an important center for Plywood development, and George positioned himself to take advantage of his local connections, utilizing plywood in many of his designs. Among them was his design for a home for A. Robert Wuest, manager of Harbor Plywood, which was featured in a variety of wood industry publications. Other important residential designs can be found on Aberdeen’s Bel Aire Hill and include the homes of Alex Polson, Charles Kerr, and Arthur McKay.
George retired in in 1954 and passed away in Aberdeen on January 26, 1964 at the age of 73.
By Michael Houser, State Architectural Historian - August 2013