Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)


Jacobsen, John

ID: 1500
Full Name: John T. Jacobsen
Occupation: Architect
Gender: M
Nationality: US
Birth Date: 1903-02-20
Death Date: 1998-03-05
Family: Spouse: He married to Florence Louise Bull (1917-2006) on 06/17/1945 in Seattle, WA.
Parents: His father was John P. Jacobsen (born c. 1864 in Denmark), who worked, in 1930, as a building materials merchant. According to the sometimes reliable US Census of 1930, John P. Jacobsen immigrated to the US in 1882, and was subsequently naturalized. (The US Census of 1920 indicated that he had been naturalized in 1892.) His mother was Clara P. Jacobsen (born c. 1876 in TX), who worked in the home. Her parents came from RI (father) and MA (mother). Clara's brother, Everett H. Keith, lived with Clara and John in 1920. John and Clara had had four children by 1920, two girls and two boys: Philip Amunds (born 1901 in WA, died 08/1969 in WA), John Theodore, Elizabeth C. (born c. 1911 in WA), and Marian (born c. 1914 in WA).
Children: He and Florence had four daughters: Tina Jacobsen Rieman, Jana Jacobsen Sparks, Pamela Jacobsen Gilbert and Candace Jacobsen.
Relocation: Jacobsen was born in Seattle, WA, and spent his entire childhood in the region. In 1920, when he was 16, John lived with his family at 1716 46th Avenue SW in Des Moines, WA. He attended the University of Washington and then the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA; this started a period of extensive travel when, at age 24 or so, he studied in France and traveled throughout Europe. In 1929-1930, Jacobsen lived with his parents and siblings at 5002 California Avenue in the West Seattle neighborhood of Seattle. Jacobsen reported an address of 3702 East Highland Drive, Seattle, WA, in 1942; after 1950, Jacobsen began to work with Seattle developer Lloyd Martin who was planning some of the earliest high-rise apartment buildings in Honolulu. HI. Jacobsen died in Honolulu, his last residence having been in the 96822 zip code of that city. He was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Seattle, WA.
Biographical Information: Education: B.Arch., University of Washington (UW), Seattle, WA, c. 1924; M.Arch., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1926; he traveled a great deal throughout Europe c. 1927-1928. He learned fresco painting techniques at the École Americaine des Beaux-Arts, Fontainebleau, France. Jacobsen was responsible for murals at various institutional locations in the Puget Sound Region, including the Everett Public Library, completed in 1934 and the University of Washington's Henry Suzzallo Library in Seattle, WA the following year.
Work History: School Designer, Soviet Union, c. 1926; Project Architect, Various firms, New York, NY, c. 1930; Site Architect, Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA, c. 1932; Draftsman, McClelland and Jones, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1935, 1942-1946; during World War II, Jacobsen was one of five architects designing the war housing at Yesler Terrace in Seattle; he was also a designer at Stewart Heights war housing, Kirkland, WA. Associate, Victor N. Jones and Associate, Seattle, WA, 1946-1950; Project Architect, John Graham and Company, Honolulu, HI, c. 1959-1965; Principal, John T. Jacobsen, Architect, Honolulu, HI, c. 1965-1980.
Teaching: Instructor, University of Washington (UW), Seattle, c. 1935;
Miscellaneous: Duane Dietz in his Architects and Landscape Architect of Seattle, 1876-1959, (typescript, 1994), np, indicated that his name was spelled "Jacobsen." Other sources have misspelled it as "Jacobson." His nickname was "Ted" Jacobsen. Jacobsen traveled between Manzanillo, Mexico, and San Francisco, CA, aboard the S.S. City of Panama, between 09/07/1927-09/19/1927. He sailed on the S.S. American Banker from London, UK, to New York, NY, between 11/28/1929 and 12/11/1929. SSN: 534-14-3922.
Professional Awards: Post College: Jacobsen won a Langley Scholarship, administered through the American Institute of Architects (AIA), that enabled him to tour Scandinavian housing developments in 1938. The Langley Scholarships, endowed by the Scranton, PA, architect Edward Langley, began in 1936. An architect needed to be proposed for the grant, and could not apply her/himself. (See "Grants Offered to Architects," Miami Daily News, 01/25/1940, p. 9A. <,6427822> Accessed 06/05/2013.) He returned from Scandinavia aboard the S.S. Drottningholm sailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, to New York, NY, between 09/13/1938 and c. 09/20/1938.
Archives: Jacobsen's papers were donated to the University of Hawaii (U of H) Library.
Countries: United States
Locations: Architect's Birth:
Seattle, WA
Architect's Death:
Honolulu, HI

Portrait of John T. Jacobsen, c. 1945; from DOCOMOMO WEWA and the State of Washington, Department of Licensing