Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)


Pries, Lionel

ID: 1835
Full Name: Lionel Henry Pries
Occupation: Architect
Gender: M
Nationality: US
Birth Date: 1897-06-02
Death Date: 1968-04-07
Family: Spouse: Lionel Pries was gay, and due to social taboos of his time, had to remain closed about his personal life. While he had a distinguished teaching career for 30 years at the University of Washington, few, if any, students knew his secret. Even students, like Keith Kolb (b. 1922), who lived in Pries's house during his UW years and remained good friends with him after college, were unaware. The revelation of his homosexuality in 1958 led to his ouster from his teaching position; the removal was mysterious to many, and for many former colleagues it led to the loss of personal contact with him.
Relocation: Born in San Francisco, CA and raised in Oakland, CA; his father worked at Gump's, the purveyor of fine interior furnishings to San Francisco's upper class; here, as a boy, according to Pries's biographer, Jeffrey Ochsner, is where he gained an appreciation for Asian artifacts.
Biographical Information: Education: B.Arch., University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 1920; M.Arch., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1921; at Penn, Pries studied with the leading Beaux-Arts academician of this time in the U.S., Paul Cret; Pries served as Cret's graduate assistant at the Philadelphia T-Square Atelier in 1921-1922;
Work History: Draftsman, Charles Kaiser Sumner, Architect, San Francisco, CA, c. 1920, 1925; Draftsman, John Galen Howard, Architect, Berkeley, CA, 1920; Draftsman, DeArmond, Ashmead and Bicklet, Architects, Philadelphia, PA, 1921; Draftsman, Office of the City Architect, John P.B. Sinkler, Philadelphia, PA, 1921-1922; Head Draftsman, Edgar V. Seeler, Architect, Philadelphia, PA, 1922; Draftsman, [George] Kelham and [William G.] Merchant, Associated Architects, San Francisco, CA, c. 1923-1925; Principal, Lionel Pries, Architect, San Francisco, CA, 1923-1925; Pries worked on a handful of his own projects in San Francisco. Supervising Architect, Bothin Helping Fund, Santa Barbara, CA, 1925; Principal, Lionel Pries, Architect, Santa Barbara, CA, 1925-1926; he designed approximately 10-12 buildings in Santa Barbara before moving back to San Francisco, from 1926-1928; Partner, Bain and Pries, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1928-1932; Architect, Lionel Pries, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1932-1942, 1960-1968; Draftsman, Durham, Anderson and Freed, Architects, Seattle, WA, 1958-1959; Draftsman, John Graham and Company, Seattle, WA, 1959-1963.
Teaching: Participated in the Camouflage School, Office of Civilian Defense, Seattle, WA, 1942; Professor of Architecture, Department of Architecture, University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Seattle, WA, 1928-1958. For 30 years, Pries taught upper level design studio courses in the Department of Architecture. For many of those, he co-taught studios with Lance Gowen (1894-1958), another long-time faculty member, son of the legendary UW Professor of Oriental Languages, Herbert Gowen (1864-1960).
Miscellaneous: His University of California, Berkeley (UCB), nickname was "Spike." SSN: 538-22-2678.
Countries: United States
Locations: Architect's Birth:
San Francisco, CA
Architect's Death:
Seattle, WA

Portrait of Lionel Pries, c. 1955; from DOCOMOMO WeWA