Victor Steinbrueck

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Victor Steinbrueck
Victor Steinbrueck.jpg
Born(1911-12-15)December 15, 1911
DiedFebruary 14, 1985(1985-02-14) (aged 73)
Alma materUniversity of Washington College of Architecture
AwardsAmerican Institute of Architects Fellow
Practiceprivate, John Graham & Company
BuildingsSpace Needle
ProjectsPioneer Square and Pike Place Market preservation

Victor Steinbrueck (December 15, 1911 - February 14, 1985) was a Seattle architect and University of Washington faculty member. Steinbrueck is best known for his efforts to preserve the city's Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market.


Steinbrueck was born in Mandan, North Dakota, and came to Seattle in 1913. In 1930 he enrolled in the University of Washington Program in Architecture, graduating in 1935 with a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.). In this period he also worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps. After apprenticing in a number of private Seattle firms and serving in the military during World War II, he joined the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Washington in 1946. He also initiated his own practice and, over the next two decades, designed a series of regional-modernist residences, built with indigenous materials suited to the climate.

Steinbrueck's focus on the character of Seattle's architecture and urban places dates from the early 1950s when he authored A Guide to Seattle Architecture, published for American Institute of Architects national convention held in Seattle in 1953. Steinbrueck went on to publish several other books promoting awareness of the unique character of Seattle: Seattle Cityscape (1962; published to coincide with Century 21, the Seattle World's Fair), Market Sketchbook (1968), and Seattle Cityscape #2 (1973).

In the 1960s Steinbruck became active in historic preservation, and, with others, successfully fought developers' plans to obliterate Seattle's most significant historic district. He was instrumental in the creation of Seattle's first two historic districts, Pioneer Square (1970) and Pike Place Market (1971). His own projects were guided by a strong sense of public spirit and social consciousness: low-income housing, the inclusion of social services, and a number of city parks co-designed with landscape architect Richard Haag, including the one that now bears his name.

Working as a consultant to John Graham & Company, Steinbrueck played a key role in the design work of the Space Needle contributing the hour glass shape of the support structure. In 1963, Steinbrueck was elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects.


  • Steinbrueck, Victor, A Guide to Seattle Architecture, 1850-1953, Reinhold Publishing Co., New York 1953.
  • Steinbrueck, Victor, Seattle Cityscape, University of Washington Press, Seattle 1962
  • Steinbrueck, Victor, Market Sketchbook, University of Washington Press, Seattle 1968
  • Steinbrueck, Victor, Seattle Cityscape #2, University of Washington Press, Seattle and London 1973
  • Steinbrueck, Victor, and Nyberg, Folke, A Visual Inventory of Buildings and Urban Design Resources for Seattle, Washington, Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority, Seattle 1975-77. Available from Historic Seattle

See also[edit]


  • Veith, Thomas, "Victor Steinbrueck," in Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects (Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, ed.), University of Washington Press, Seattle and London, 1994, pages 276-281
  • Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, "Victor Steinbrueck Finds His Voice: From the Argus to Seattle Cityscape," Pacific Northwest Quarterly 99/3 (Summer 2008), pages 122-133.

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