In Memoriam: Henry Klein, FAIA (1920-2013)

AIA Washington Council is saddened to learn of the death of architect Henry Klein, FAIA of Mount Vernon, WA. He passed away March 5, 2013 at the age of 92.

Born September 6, 1920 in Cham, Germany, he moved with his family at age 15 to Switzerland where he continued his education before moving to the United States. He attended Hobart and Williams College in New York and graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Architecture.
The Second World War delayed the start of his career as he was stationed in India and the South Pacific with the Army Engineers. Following the war he returned to New York then moved to Portland, Oregon where he worked for Pietro Belluschi.

In 1952 Henry and his wife, Phyllis Harvey, packed up and moved to Mount Vernon where he opened his office becoming the first architect in Skagit County. He designed private residences for the early pioneer families in the area then began designing commercial and public buildings.

Henry Klein later founded Henry Klein and Associates which became The Henry Klein Partnership, and now is known as HKP Architects. Projects of note in Skagit County include the Skagit County Administration Building, Mount Vernon Public Library, The Museum of Northwest Art, Mount Vernon High School Gym and Field House, and the Swinomish Tribal Community Hall.

Other projects in neighboring counties and beyond include The Performing Arts Center and Mathes and Nash Residence Halls at Western Washington University, The Kent Public Library, senior centers in Redmond, Kent, Bellingham and Ferndale, the Orcas Island Public Library, the Marine Laboratory Commons building, dormitories for the University of Washington in Friday Harbor, a cloister for Our Lady of the Rock Monastery on Shaw Island, and many other buildings, schools and homes in Washington State.

In 1981 the firm was awarded the Louis Sullivan Award for Architecture, the first small firm to ever win the award as well as the only west coast firm awardee at that time. Henry’s very personal speech in response to the award is available online at: www.hkpa.com/publications/speech_sullivan.html.
Henry retired in 2004 after 52 years of practice.

According to HKP Architects, Henry was a quiet and humble family man who loved the arts, nature, and the diversity of people he came into contact with. His work was his chosen expression of his citizenship. Henry’s memory and legacy continue to motivate and inspire all who knew him.
No services will be held. The Skagit County Historical Museum will be presenting an exhibit of Henry’s career and work in April 2013.

Letter from Norm Strong (PDF)
Press Release from HKP architects

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