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William G. Teufel

1925 - 2007

Landcape architect William G. Teufel was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, on April 5, 1925. In the late 1930s, his parents, Frank and Lucille Teufel, moved to Seattle where, for nearly 40 years, they operated a greenhouse in Madison Park neighborhood. It was there that William developed an early interest in landscape architecture.

After graduating from Garfield High School, Teufel enlisted in the Navy and served overseas during World War II.  Subsequently, he entered Washington State University on the GI Bill and decided to study landscape architecture. Eventually Teufel transferred to the University of Oregon, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in landscape architecture in 1953.

Upon graduation, in 1953 Teufel opened a private landscape-architecture firm in Seattle and, for nearly 40 years, he collaborated with many of the best architects in the Pacific Northwest.  This association led to a variety of publications in local and regional newspapers.  In fact, Teufel seemed to have a knack for working with architects whom designs were highlighted as Seattle Times Home of the Month.

Among the notable residential projects are the Lewis J. Dowell House (1954 with Paul H. Kirk); the Dr. Harry Rice House (1955 with Gene Zema); the Electri-Living House (1956 with Paul H. Kirk); Don Kalis House (1958 with Gene Zema); the Dr. Robert Zech (1959, with Bystrom & Greco); the Frank Gilbert House in the Highlands (1960, with Paul H. Kirk); a Seattle Times Home of the Month (1964, with Bell & Greve); and the Dr. Peterson House in the Canterbury neighborhood of Seattle (1968, with Barden Erickson);

Non-residential projects include the Sacred Heart Church & Rectory in Bellevue (1958 with John Maloney); the Seattle Eye Clinic (1958, with Klontz & Wrede); the Seattle Hilton Inn by the airport (1960, with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill); Kobe Terrace Park (1975); as well as the master plan for landscaping at Bellevue Community College.

It was his design for the master landscaping plan for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair however that brought Teufel additional commissions.   Following the fair, over the course of his career he provided landscaping designs for countless housing developments, office parks, and commercial buildings.

Teufel was also considered by his peers to be one of the most accomplished golf-course architects in the nation.  His appreciation for the greens began in high school.  He ranked No. 1 on the Garfield High School golf team, and during those years he caddied at the Broadmoor Golf Club to earn extra money.  

His golf course projects include the Wing Point course on Bainbridge Island (1963); Twin Lakes Golf & Country Club in Federal Way (1966); Useless Bay Golf Course in Langley (1966); Tam-O-Shanter
Golf & Country Club in Bellevue (1967); Fairwood Golf Course in Maple Valley (1968); Hat Island Golf and Country Club on Hat Island (1969); Wing Point Golf and
Country Club in Bellevue; Colockum Ridge Golf Course in Quincy; the Eagles Pride Course – Green/Red on Fort Lewis (1979); the Quincy Valley Course in Quincy (1986); and Gleneagles in Arlington (1993).

One of his proudest accomplishments was acquiring a 3-acre site in Woodinville on a hillside northwest of the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery, where in 1988 he worked with an architect to design his own home. On the site he planted 4,500 rhododendrons and held an annual spring garden picnic that attracted hundreds of friends.

In 1995, Teufel was inducted as a "fellow" of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. He was a founding member of the Northwest Forum, a private group drawing from various professions that meets to discuss solutions to regional problems.

Teufel passed away on November 5, 2007 in Woodinville at the age of 82.

By Michael Houser, State Architectural Historian - July 2014

Bibliography

“Home of the Month – Spacious Surroundings for Growing Family” Seattle Times, February 13, 1955

“Zoned Planning For Comfort Features Residences” Seattle Times, September 16, 1956

“Electri-Living Home Marked By Zoned Planning” Seattle Times, December 16, 1956

“Comfort and Convenience in Electri-Living Home” Seattle Times, December 23, 1956

“Home of the Month – In Horizon View” Seattle Times, November 16, 1958

“Eye Clinic” Seattle Times, December 21, 1958

“Home of the Month – Mercer Island Beauty” Seattle Times, April 26, 1959

“Harmony Between House & Setting” Seattle Times, April 24, 1960

“Quite, Elegant Hilton Inn Offers Luxury” Seattle Times, July 24, 1961

“House That Perches Lightly” Seattle Times, November 5, 1961

“Landscape Architect Has Important Part in Home Beautification” Seattle Times, August 19, 1962

“Suburban and Compatible” Seattle Times, January 27, 1963

“Trade Journal Features Mercer Island Home” Seattle Times, March 31, 1963

“Home of the Month – In Elford Park” Seattle Times, January 26, 1964

“Seattle’s Distinctive Charm: What Should Be Saved” Seattle Times, April 12, 1964

“Golf Course Planned for Hat Island” Seattle Times, June 14, 1964

“Home of the Month – In Canterbury” Seattle Times, December 13, 1964

“New Community to Be Shown” Seattle Times, August 29, 1965

“Golf Courses Key Parts of Housing Developments” Seattle Times, September 19, 1965

“Big Housing Project Set For Renton” Seattle Times, February 24, 1966

“5 Homes on Display East of Bellevue” Seattle Times, May 8, 1966

“The Jim Owens Home – Plenty of Elbow Room” Seattle Times, June 12, 1966

“Work Begins on Maple Valley Development” Seattle Times, July 10, 1966

“Seattle’s Sheraton Motor Inn Opened” Seattle Times, August 2, 1966

“First Nine Holes At Useless Bay Links Open” Seattle Times, August 7, 1966

“Home Near Kirkland in Community With Playground” Seattle Times, September 25, 1966

“College Club Mortgage Loan Completed” Seattle Times, January 22, 1967

“An H-Shaped Plan Providing Beauty, Interest” Seattle Times, March 3, 1968

“Reborn – Port Ludlow Will Preserve Part Of Its Historic Past” Seattle Times, July 21, 1968

“Compton Green: Quality Community Has Natural Setting” Seattle Times, August 4, 1968

“New Philosophy Reflected In Elementary School Design” Seattle Times, November 17, 1968

“Open Today: Everett – Models will be shown today…” Seattle Times, April 20, 1969

“Design, Materials Blend” Seattle Times, December 14, 1969

“Magnificence in Windermere” Seattle Times, January 11, 1970

“Trees Give Warmth to Courts, Says Landscape Architect” Seattle Times, February 20, 1970

“Circulation Creates Intensely Urban Campus” Seattle Times, August 16, 1970