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William P. White

1863 - 1932

Born c.1863 in New York, Seattle architect William P. White’s formal architectural training and background is unknown.  Documentation show that he arrived in the west around 1892 via Montana, where he was commissioned to prepare plans for a grand new high school in Great Falls.  For a short time he formed a partnership with Finish architect Anton Werner Lignell in Butte (1897 to 1902).  Known projects in Montana include the F.F. Weirick House, a flat for George Dailey and St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church.

Polk directories indicate that White arrived in Seattle around 1902 and practiced in the city until about 1918.  White specialized in the design of apartment buildings and was prolific in the early part of the 20th century.  An article he wrote entitled “Apartment Buildings” featured in the March 1907 issue of Pacific Builder & Engineer most likely brought him many commissions.   With business going well, around 1911 he formed a short lived partnership with Jesse M. Warren.

Rendering of Wellington Court, Seattle Times - October 28, 1906Known apartment projects include the Skinner Flats (1903); the Knickerbocker Apartments (c.1904); the Bovingdon Flats (1904); the Jefferson Apartments (c.1905); a 3-story apartment at the NW corner of Boren & Union (1905); the Imperial Apartments (1905); the Madkin Apartments (1905); the Villa Apartments (1906); Wellington Court (1907); the Kinnear Apartments (1907); Chapman’s Apartment (1907); the Manhattan Flats (c.1907); the Wrexhall (1909); C.B. Richardson Apartments (1909); the Olympian Apartments (1913); the Sagamore/Queen Anne View Apartments (c.1917) on Queen Anne; and the Alfaretta Apartments (c.1917) on First Hill.

White is also designed at least three apartment buildings in Vancouver, B.C., the Leonard/Wenonah Apartments (1912);  the Del Mar Inn (1912); and the Sylvia Court Apartments (1912).  The Sylvia Court Apartments, now a hotel were the first large scale development in Vancouver’s west end near Stanley Park and at eight stories tall, remained the tallest building in the neighborhood until 1958.

Residential projects by White include several homes for the Building Investment Co. in the Capitol Hill neighborhood (1902); the J.S. Klickner House (1903); the Ella Mann House (1903); the G. Maher House (1904); three rental homes for Edgar & Clara Synder (1905); the B.E. Gates House (1905); the M.B. Jackson House (1905); and several home in the Green Lake area (1910).

Other designs ranged from small scale commercial buildings, to large muti-story hotel buildings.  Known projects include the Bigelow Building (1906); the Klodt Building (1906); the Bamberg Block (1906); the Smith Block (1906); The Richmond Hotel (1908); the Freedman Building (1909); the Astor Hotel (c.1909); the Kaufman Warehouse (1910); the Skinner Block (1910); the Hotel Nelson (1909); and the Calhoun Hotel (1910). Outside of Seattle White designed the Sumas Bank (1911); and a multi-story building in downtown Mount Vernon housing the Mount Vernon Hotel and a Bank (1909). White also designed the San Juan County Courthouse (1906) in Friday Harbor.

During WWI, White moved to Bremerton and began working as draftsman for the Navy Shipyards in Bremerton.  Reportedly he was employed there until his death on April 5, 1932.

By Michael Houser, State Architectural Historian - November 2013


San Juan Islander - January 6, 1906. pg 1.

Dorpat, Paul, "High Refinement at a Lower Level: Now & Then" Seattle Times, March 28, 2010.

Kraft, Kate, City of Seattle Landmark Nomination - Palladian Apartments, 12, 15, 2008

1910 US Census

"Permit Issued For Calhoun's New Hotel" Seattle Times - June 13, 1909, pg 37.

"$125,000 Apartment Structure Planned" Seattle Times - April 2, 1913, pg 12.

"At Eigth And Pine" Seattle Times - April 29, 1903, pg 7.

"Real Estate and BUilding News" Seattle Times - October 1, 1904, pg 7.

"New Brick Building to be Erected on Pike Street" Seattle Times - November 22, 1904, pg 5.

"Bigelow Building" Seattle Times - May 28, 1905, pg 56.

"Klodt Building" Seattle Times - August 20, 1905, pg 19.

"Store Building on East Union Street" Seattle Times - November 26, 1905, pg 56.

"New Hotel for Sixth and Madison" Seattle Times - March 18, 1906, pg 40.

"San Juan County Courthouse" Seattle Times - June 17, 1906, pg 41.

"New $25,000 Apartment House for Twelfth Avenue" Seattle Times - October 28, 1906, pg 14.

"John Haller's New Building" Seattle Times - March 17, 1907, pg 57.

"O.L. Chapman's Apartment House" Seattle Times - March 17, 1907, pg 57.

"Handsom Home of New State Bank and Hotel at Mount Vernon" Seattle Times - April 4, 1909, pg 20.

"New Apartment House for Queen City Building Co." Seattle Times - April 4, 1909, pg 35.

"Skinner Building at Eight Avenue and Pine" Seattle Times - July 4, 1909, pg 29.

"Building News" Seattle Times - January 8, 1911, pg 40.

"Labor Bids Wanted" Seattle Times - August 28, 1910, pg 44.

"To Build Ornate Apartment House At $70,000 Cost" Seattle Times - July 19, 1914, pg 22.

"New Hotel for Madison Street" Seattle Times - January 27, 1907, pg 57.

"New Hotel for Fourth Avenue" Seattle Times - October 20, 1907, pg 44.

"Children To Be Welcome" Seattle Times - January 26, 1907, pg 4.