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Willis E. Dwyer

1868 - 1924

Seattle architect Willis E. Dwyer began his career by learning the trade from the ground up.  He served as a carpenter and builder in Seattle and is listed as such in the 1890 city directories.  By 1893 he worked as a carpenter for the Mill, Randall & Company.  With 10+ years of construction experience, Dwyer began to advertise himself as an architect in 1908. 

Willis Dwyer Advertisement, Seattle Times - February 17, 1924His earliest known designs are for several homes in the Roanoke Park nieghborhood including the Emmett Mifflin House (1909); the Max Marcus House (1910); the Mavis Hayes House (1910) and the C. Rogers Brown House (1912).  Dwyer also buit the Samuel Hayes House (1910), but the design is attributed to the architectural firm of Bertand & Chamberlin.  The Pacific Coast Architect also notes that Dwyer designed a five-story concrete store and hotel building for J.B. Jones in 1913.

Dwyers later designs are focused on several multi-story apartment buildings including the Sealth Apartments (1923); the Kilarney Apartments (1923); the Swansonia Apartments (1923); the Hudson Arms Apartments (1924, demolished); and the Washington Irving Apartments (1924).  He is also attributed with the design of the Mission Theater (now known as the Georgetown Ballroom) and garage in Georgetown (1923).

Dwyer died suddenly in Seattle at the age of 56 on April 23, 1924.  At the time, his architectural career apears to have just began as evidenced by the large number of projects completed in 1923-24.

By Michael Houser, State Architectural Historian - July 2012


“$400,000 Apartment: Plans are being prepared for Modern Structure” Seattle Daily Times – March 16, 1923

“Two Aaprtment Houses Will Cost $750,000” Seattle Daily Times – January 1, 1923

“Washington Irving Apartments Ready” Seattle Daily Times – February 17, 1924

“New Apartment House for 3008 Harvard Ave.” Seattle Daily Times – May 20, 1923

“New Movie Theater Plans” Seattle Daily Times – September 9, 1923

“New Theater Planned” Seattle Daily Times – December 9, 1923

“New Sealth Apartments Are Attractive” Seattle Daily Times – October 21, 1923

Roanoke Park National Register Nomination – 2009

Seattle and Environs – 1852-1924 : Vol 3

The Pacific Coast Architect – January 1913