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Harry L. Copeland

1869 - 1936

Architect Harry Lewis Copeland was born in 1869 in Philadelphia and spent his childhood years in Brooklyn, New York.  He was formally trained at Cooper-Union in New York City, graduating in 1889.  In 1894 as an apprentice in New York for architect Ernest Flagg, Copeland came to the Pacific Northwest to supervise the building of the Washington State Capitol in Olympia.  After the project stalled, Copeland returned to New York and established his own firm in New York City with Mr. Dole.  Reportedly the firm produced large number of public and private buildings, Atlantic shore summer homes, amusement parks, and Kentucky mansions and race horse facilities; however no known projects from this time period have been documented. 

After the national financial panic of 1907, the firm of Copeland & Dole closed.  In 1912, Copeland returned to Olympia to supervise the construction of the Capitol group for the New York architectural firm of Wilder & White.  While in Olympia a second time, Copeland reportedly designed a garage and a greenhouse for Governor Lister; a manse for the Presbyterian Church; and submitted plans for a remodel of the Olympia Theater; as well as submitted a proposal for the Carnegie Library. 

While in Olympia, Copeland and his wife became well respected citizens and were involved in a variety of social organizations.  Both were heavily involved in the Presbyterian Church.  His wife served on the State Board of Parent-Teachers Association.

In 1915, Copeland moved his practice to Walla Walla to supervise the construction of the county courthouse.  Well established in that community, reportedly Copeland designed grain elevators for milling companies in eastern Washington and Oregon, however no projects designed by him in Walla Walla have been verified. 

Brick Patent, Pat No. 1,444,588: Feb 6, 1926While in Walla Walla Copeland designed and filed a patent for a product that would allow brick walls to be constructed by unskilled labor (Pat No. 1,444,588, filled Feb 6, 1923). To sell the product, he formed the Brick-Con Metal Forms Company with Capital stock of $200,000.

Shortly thereafter, in 1923 Copeland moved to the newly established planned City of Longview and opened a new practice with his son, Paul.  Together the firm of Copeland & Co. designed a variety of office buildings, residences, a theater, and a church.  Projects in the city demonstrate Copeland’s diverse skills at rendering in a variety of architectural styles.  Known projects include the large Colonial Revival Wesley Vandercook Jr. House (1923); the Gothic Revival style Pounder Building (1926); the Sullivanesque style Schumann Building(1926) and Mills Building (1926); and the Art Deco style Taylor Apartments (1928).  Other notable projects include the Longview Community Church (1926); Stratford Building (1926); the Eunice Karr House (c.1928); the Augustus Clapp House (1929); and the Kenneth Batchelder House (1929).

The firm of Copeland & Son closed in 1929 after Harry suffered a life threatening fall from the roof of his home.  He had moved to Seattle by 1931, but ill health prevented additional work before he passed away on October 8, 1937.

Adapted from bio by Peggy Corley (H.L. Copeland grand daughter) -  Michael Houser, State Architectural Historian, Feb 2013


"Mr. Flagg's Representative: Architect Copeland Arrives with the Foundation Plans" Morning Olympian Sept 12, 1894. pg 1.

"The Call For Bids" Morning Olympian Sept 14, 1894. pg 1.

"The Capitol Basement" Morning Olympian Sept 15, 1894. pg 1.

"The Treacherous Types" Morning Olympian December 29, 1894. pg 4.

"The Opening Session: Christian Endeavors Welcomed by the Governor" Morning Olympian December 26, 1894. pg 1.

"Y.P.S.C.E. Meeting" Morning Olympian October 1, 1895. pg 3.

"Copeland Goes East" Morning Olympian March 28, 1896. pg 2.

"Capitoil Commission in Conference Today With the Supervisor" Olympia Daily Recorder January 2, 1912

"Soon to Start Temple of Justice" Morning Olympian January 3, 1912. pg 2.

"Brotherhood Organized" Olympia Record  February 3, 1912. pg 6.

"Begin on Steel Work on Temple" Morning Olympian July 12, 1912. pg 1.

"Work Started on Presbyterian Manse" Morning Olympian September 7, 1912. pg 1.

"Remodeling of Theater is Contemplated" Morning Olympian October 22, 1913. pg 2.

"Five Library Plans to be Submitted to Committee on Dec. 15" Morning Olympian November 24, 1913. pg 2.

"Federation Men's Club to Banquet on Dec 2" Morning Olympian November 20, 1914. pg 3.

"Clausen Calls Show-Down at Cheney Normal School" Olympia Daily Recorder  January 25, 1915. pg 2.

"Cheney Probe Brings About Complications" Morning Olympian January 26, 1915. pg 2.

"State P.T.A. Officiers Are Chosen For Year" Seattle Daily Times  May 18, 1924.

"Longview Sets Pace: Building Continues in Active Manner" Seattle Times  June 25, 1925.

"Community Chuches for Long-Bell Town" Seattle Times  November 29, 1925.

"Scores of New Buildings Going Up in Longview" Seattle Daily Times  March 28, 1926. pg 73.

"Longview May Obtain $375,000 Pulp Mill" Seattle Daily Times  August 20, 1926. pg 22.

"Building Activity Holds at Longview" Seattle Daily Times  June 20, 1926.

"New Building to be Erected in Longview" Seattle Daily Times  July 18, 1926. pg 22.

"Harry L. Copeland Funeral" Seattle Daily Times  October 9, 1937. pg 11.

Cooper-Union Annual Report - June 4, 1908

"Harry L. Copeland, Pioneer architect..." The Architect & Engineer December 1930