Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)

Architects

Olschewsky, Henry

ID: 3269
Full Name: Henry John Olschewsky
Occupation: Architect
Gender: M
Birth Date: 1907-04-17
Death Date: 1945-12-16
Family: Spouse: Olschewsky married Margaret Elizabeth ("Betty") Taggart of Aberdeen, WA. Her father was Judge Robert Elder Taggart, who, in 1929, resided in Olympia, WA. Both Olschewsky and Taggart attended the University of Washington, she belonged to the Chi Omega Sorority, he the Delta Chi Fraternity. The couple set a 12/21/1929 wedding date for a site in Seattle. (See "Miss Taggart Sets Wedding for December," Seattle Times, 10/13/1929, p. SC3.)
Parents: His father, Henry F. Olschewsky (1867-1939), married Laura Bartram (1869-1942) in 1891 in King County. According to Bo Olschewsky, his father's family had a Polish heritage. Laura Bartram's parents were Ernest Bartram and Magdeline Gotche. Both Henry F. and Laura died in Olympia, WA.
Children: A son, Robert, known as "Bo," also became an architect. He was the only child of Henry and Elizabeth.
Relocation: In 1935, Olschewsky resided at 833 East 56th Street in Seattle; he reported an address of 4011 45th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA, in 1942; he died of encephalitis nine days before Christmas in 1945.
Biographical Information: Education: Graduate, Montesano High School, Montesano, WA. At Montesano High School, Olschewsky played on the school's basketball team. (See "Maddux Made Captain," Seattle Daily Times, 12/04/1924; p. 28.) B.Arch., University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Seattle, WA, 1931. Only three men graduated with B.Arch. degrees in Spring 1931: Olschewsky, E. Arnold Campbell, and Merle Hale Kibbe. (See "University to Graduate 1,023, Monday," Seattle Times, 06/12/1931, p. 28.)
Work History: Principal, Henry J. Olschewsky, Architect, Seattle, WA, c. 1932-1945.
Teaching: Olschewsky taught at the UW, School of Architecture, from at least 1933 until his death in 1945. The 1938 UW Atelier Yearbook indicated that Olschewsky was an "Instructor in architecture, freshman and junior critic, instructor in perspective and working drawings." (See "Faculty," Atelier, 1938, n.p.)
Miscellaneous: Henry Olschewsky died prematurely at age 38; he died of an illness during World War II. The 1943-1946 Year Book of the School of Architecture at the University of Washington eulogized him: "Quiet and unassuming by nature, he impressed all who knew him by his ability in his profession, his integrity as an instructor, and his kind and helpful personality." (See 1943-1946 Year Book of the School of Architecture at the University of Washington, np) He was an avid sailor, his name appearing frequently in the 1930s in boating columns of the Seattle Times. He owned two sailboats, the Banshee and the Banshee II. (See "Around the First Buoy, Chasing the Leaders, Seattle Times, 05/07/1939, p. WP5.)
Professional Awards: College: Olschewsky won the University of Washington Department of Architecture's Traveling Scholarship of $500 in 05/1930. (See "Winners of Scholarships and Prizes," Seattle Times, 06/15/1930, p. 17.) The Seattle Times noted the awards won by Olschewsky and another student, Albert E. Hennessey: "Another University architectural student, Henry J. Olschewsky, was awarded a $500 traveling scholarship...and is now en route to New York City via the Panama Canal. He is a junior, and a graduate of Montesano High School. Both students expect to complete their courses at the University next year." (See "U. Student To Leave for Paris on Award Money," Seattle Times, 05/01/1930, p. 5.) He won the Alpha Rho Chi Medal in Architecture in 06/1932 at the UW. (See "Honor Awards to Students Announced, Seattle Times, 06/12/1932, p. 29.)
Post College: He won the Prize for Best Class B House ($6,000) in Frederick and Nelson's Family Homes Project competition of 1935. (See "Frederick & Nelson Winning Architects Named," Seattle Times, 09/15/1935, p. 31.) This house was planned to be built for a site "two blocks on the west side of Sunset Avenue, West Seattle, 125 feet north from the end of the street paving."
Countries: United States