Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)

Architects

Priteca, Benjamin

ID: 268
Full Name: Benjamin Marcus Priteca
Occupation: Architect
Gender: M
Nationality: Scotland/US
Birth Date: 1889-12-23
Death Date: 1971-10-01
Family: Spouse: Priteca never married.
Parents: His mother's was Dina Priteca (born c. 1872 in Russia), a Jewish immigrant to Scotland from Russia; his father was Charles Priteca. In 1909, his mother lived at 14 Roxburgh Street, Edinburgh, Scotland. According to the U.S. Census of 1920, his younger sisters Fannie S. (born c. 1890 in Scotland) and Esther Anna (born 09/25/1896 in Scotland-d. 11/1971 in Seattle, WA) lived with B. Marcus and their mother in Seattle.
Relocation: Born in Scotland, Benjamin Marcus Priteca grew up in a prosperous professional family in Edinburgh, Scotland; he received his secondary and university education in Scotland; the architect traveled from Glasgow, Scotland to Montreal, QC, Canada on 07/05/1909 aboard the S.S. Grampian; he traveled to Canada with Isabel Atchison (born c. 1871 in Scotland); his final destination was Seattle, WA; Priteca reported an address of 1909 Lakeview Boulevard East, Seattle, WA, in 1917, 1930 and 1942; in the former year, Priteca had already purchased the house which was valued at $6,000; he and his mother lived there in 1930. Priteca died in Seattle, WA, at the age of 81 of cancer.
Biographical Information: Education: Apprentice, Judge Robert McFarland Cameron, Architect, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1904-1909; general studies coursework, Watson's College, Edinburgh, Scotland, c. 1907; Priteca held both B.A. and B.S. degrees.
Work History: Draftsman, E.W. Houghton, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1909-1911; Priteca also knew W. Marbury Somervell early on, but it is not clear whether he worked in his office; Somervell ended his partnership with Joseph S. Coté in 1909, and it's possible that Priteca worked for the former during this transition; Principal, B. Marcus Priteca, Architect, Seattle, WA, 1911-c. 1964; Priteca was retained as architect for all Pantages Theatres designed between 1910 and 1929, numbering approximately 30; he worked in Los Angeles, 1922-1929; the Scottish-born architect is credited with having designed over 150 movie theatres during his career; beginning in 1914, Priteca operated his office at 507-511 Pantages (later Palomar) Building, an office tower of his own design, in Seattle, WA. He worked from here until late 1964; the Palomar Building was demolished in 1965. Priteca associated with a number of architects on various projects over the years, but always maintained his independent practice.
Miscellaneous: A number of dates have been given for Priteca's birth, including 1890 and 12/23/1881. (In 2001, John Edward Powell. indicated his birth to have occurred in Glasgow, Scotland, 12/23/1881. See <http://www.historicfresno.org/bio/priteca.htm> Accessed 03/07/2005); the Washington State Death Index noted a "Bernard Priteca," born 12/23/1889 and died 10/1971; Priteca's World War I Draft Registration Card indicated that his name was "Bernard Marcus Priteca" and his birth date to have been 12/23/1886. At this time, 06/05/1917, he was still a subject of Great Britain; he was described at age 30 as being short and stout with grey eyes and dark brown hair. Priteca's nickname was "Benny"; SSN: 536-36-3884; Priteca smoked more than 20 cigars per day.
Professional Awards: College: Gold Medal, Royal Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland; in conjunction with this award, Priteca received scholarship money enabling him to travel to Seattle, WA, in 1909, to attend the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE).
Post College: Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1951;
Countries: Scotland
United States
Structures: 4th Avenue Theatre, Anchorage, AK - (18808)
B. and M. Theatre, Seattle, WA - 1924 (4637)
Canadian Bank of Commerce, Los Angeles, CA - (4263)
Central Hotel, Downtown, Tacoma, WA - (14717)
Chevra Bikur Cholim Synagogue #1, Central District, Seattle, WA - 1909-1915 (3227)
Chevra Bikur Cholim Synagogue #2, Seward Park, Seattle, WA - (14735)
City of Seattle, Civic Auditorium, Seattle, WA - 1925-1928 (5248)
City of Seattle, Police Department (SPD), Public Safety Building #2, Seattle, WA - 1946-1950 (5177)
Coliseum Theatre #2, Downtown, Seattle, WA - 1915-1916 (3212)
Crystal Swimming Pool, Seattle, WA - 1915-1916 (3107)
Evergreen State Theatre, Olympia, WA - 1948-1950 (14733)
Lathrop Building, 4th Avenue Theatre, Anchorage, AK - 1947 (3232)
Longacres Race Track, Renton, WA - 1933 (3242)
Magnolia Theatre, Magnolia, Seattle, WA - 1947-1948 (16097)
Majestic Theatre, Ballard, Seattle, WA - 1914-1915 (8731)
Marshall Square Office Building, San Francisco, CA - (5247)
Mercy Theatre, Yakima, WA - 1919-1920 (3228)
Office Building and Theatre Project, Aberdeen, WA - (14708)
Orpheum Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA - 1926-1927 (17262)
Orpheum Theatre #2, Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1926-1927 (5246)
Orpheum Theatre #4, San Francisco, CA - 1926 (1555)
Orpheum Theatre #7, Downtown, Seattle, WA - 1926-1927 (3221)
Pacific Theatre, Beverly Hills, CA - (1597)
Pantages, Alexander, Building, Pantages Theatre #2, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA - 1919-1920 (14709)
Pantages Theatre #1, Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1907-1908 (15139)
Pantages Theatre #2, Downtown, Seattle, WA - 1911-1915 (3211)
Pantages Theatre #2, Tacoma, WA - (3209)
Pantages Theatre #2, Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1916-1917 (15138)
Pantages Theatre, Downtown, Fresno, CA - 1928 (3229)
Pantages Theatre, Downtown, San Diego, CA - 1923-1924 (1561)
Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA - 1929-1930 (1559)
Pantages Theatre Project, Pasadena, CA - 1927 (3198)
Pantages Theatre, Salt Lake City, UT - (5250)
Pantages Theatre, San Francisco, CA - 1910-1911 (1556)
Paramount Theatre, Downtown, Seattle, WA - 1927-1929 (4262)
Portola Theatre, West Seattle, Seattle, WA - 1919 (3231)
Priteca, Benjamin M., House, Seattle, WA - (5201)
Seattle Talmud Torah Synagogue, Seattle, WA - (14718)
Temple de Hirsch Sanctuary, Central District, Seattle, WA - 1960 (14734)
Union Stables, Seattle, WA - 1909-1910 (18162)
Warner Brothers Downtown Building, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA - 1920 (466)
Warner Brothers Theatre, Beverly Hills, CA - 1930-1931 (4387)
Warner Brothers Theatre, Huntington Park, CA - (5249)
Washoe Theatre, Anaconda, MT - 1936 (18809)
Locations: Architect's Death:
Seattle, WA
USA
Architect's Birth:
Glasgow, Scotland
UK
Publications: "Seattle architect, theater designer (Obituary)", American Institute of Architects Journal, 56: 62, 11/1971.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 220, 1981.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 184, 187, 218, 1981.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 192-193, 213, 216, 1981.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 66, 1981.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 218, 1981.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 220, 1981.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 220, 1981.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 41-43, 1981.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 218, 1981.
Naylor, David, American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, 219, 1981.
"Canadian Bank of Commerce, Los Angeles notes", Architect & Engineer, 94, 5/1931.
Smith, Laura Massino, "Continue north on Argyle Avenue", Architecture Tours L.A. Guidebook Hollywood, 10, 2004.
Broderick, Henry, Early Seattle Profiles, 31, 1959.
Kalman, Harold, Exploring Vancouver 2, 188, 1978.
Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 131, 1980.
Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "Temple de Hirsch Sanctuary, 1960", Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 150, 1980.
Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 140, 1980.
Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 131, 1980.
Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State, 193, 1980.
Woodbridge, Sally B., Montgomery, Roger, Guide to Architecture in Washington State An Environmental Perspective, 123, 1980.
Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center, c. 1912, rehabilitated 1970", Guide to Architecture in Washington State: An Environmental Perspective, 152, 1980.
Woodbridge, Sally, Montgomery, Roger, "Capitol Theatre, 1920, restored 1978", Guide to Architecture in Washington State: An Environmental Perspective, 378-379, 1980.
Ewell, Liza, Historic Ballard Walking Tour, nd.
Intermission Featuring Original Drawings of B. Marcus Priteca, n.d..
"Orpheum Theatre Vancouver", Journal of Commerce, 12/05/1926.
Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, 233, 1994.
Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, 155, 1994.
Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, 129, 1994.
Edmonds, Andy, "Showstopper", Los Angeles Magazine, 128-136, 11/1989.
"Theater skyscraper announced", Los Angeles Times, 1, 12/23/1928.
"Showhouse construction takes advantage of low costs", Los Angeles Times, part V: 1, 5/4/1930.
"Theatres of Los Angeles including Hollywood and more.", Marquee, 30: 1, 4-29, 1998.
Crowley, Walt, National Trust Guide Seattle, 124, 1998.
Report Camouflage Schools and Office of Civilian Defense Washington State Defense Council 1942-1943, 3-4, 1943.
Steinbrueck, Victor, Seattle Architecture 1850-1953, 19, 1953.
Sommer, Constance, "Picture this: Bay may be reopening investor has big plans for old Ballard Theater", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, A1, 01/31/1998.
"Face of an architect", Seattle Times, 23, 12/5/1961.
Reddin, John J., "Benny Priteca about to Lose Happy Home", Seattle Times, 33, 09/27/1964.
Duncan, Don, "Don Duncan's Driftwood Diary: Meet Mr. Architect", Seattle Times, 4, 01/24/1971.
Case, Frederick, "Exceeding projections--The Bay Theatre has been a screen gem for 75 years", Seattle Times, C1, 03/31/1990.
Reddin, John J., "John J. Reddin's Faces of the City:'Benny'Priteca about to lose happy home", Seattle Times, 33, 09/27/1964.
Newnham, Blaine, "Alhadeff's poplars couldn't withstand the winds of change", Seattle Times, C1, 03/31/1988.
Dorpat, Paul, "From Palace to Parking Garage", Seattle Times, 31, 08/30/2009.
Sutermeister, Miriam, "B. Marcus Priteca", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 184, 1994.
Rash, David A., "Schack, Young and Myers", Shaping Seattle Architecture, 157, 1994.
"Pantages Pasadena plans", Southwest Builder and Contractor, 49, col 2, 03/25/1927.
"Yakima boasts healthy 'cousin' to the Pantages: City's successful Capitol Theater mirrors hopes for Tacoma project", Tacoma News Tribune, C10-C11, 08/16/1981.
Websites: 1920 United States Federal Census about B Marcus Priteca (3037) 1930 United States Federal Census about B Marcus Priteca (3038) About The Theatres | All About The Paramount Theatre (778) B. Marcus Priteca (1051) Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956 about Benjamin Marcus Priteca (3036) Capitol (Mercy, State) Theatre (593) Capitol Theatre (3849) Coliseum opens in Seattle on January 8, 1916. (1943) Coliseum Theatre (1945) Coliseum Theatre (2690) Crystal Swimming Pool (589) Hollywood Pantages Theatre (277) Individual Landmarks Landmarks Alphabetical Listing for A (1970) King County Snapshots Image and Description (1041) Landmark Nomination Naval Reserve Armory 860 Terry Avenue North Seattle (1530) Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center (4060) Local Register of Historic Places (4251) Magnolia Theatre (3895) Natatorium (Seattle, Wash.), ground floor plan (2123) Natatorium (Seattle, Wash.), Lenora Street and alley elevations, dome section, and ceiling plan of rotunda (2122) Natatorium (Seattle, Wash.), longitudinal and cross sections, mezzanine stock room and dressing room floor plans (2124) Natatorium (Seattle, Wash.), Second Avenue elevation (2125) Natatorium (Seattle, Wash.), tank floor plan (2126) National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form (1053) New Orpheum Theatre opens in Seattle on August 28, 1927. (1374) New Pantages Theatre in Tacoma opens on January 7, 1918 (1735) Northwest Theatre Organ History (592) Now & Then Seattle's Coliseum Theatre is reborn (2902) Orpheum Theater (Portland, Oregon) (3150) Pantages (Roxy) Theatre (588) Pantages Theater San Diego (279) Pantages Theatre (1929) (5909) Portola Theatre (596) Portola Theatre exterior photo (2869) Portola Theatre exterior photo (2868) Preservation Voices May 2004: Ken Alhadeff: Developer, Philanthropist (2904) Profile: Coliseum Theater (1947) San Diego Theatre The Pantages (3362) The Capitol Theatre (595) The History of Metropolitan Vancouver (3246) The History of the Orpheum Theater (276) Warner Beverly Hills Theater (2875)

Portrait of B. Marcus Priteca, Seattle, 1916; from HistoryLink.org