news and events » obituaries

Obituaries Header


return to Obituaries

Harry Lee Cummings#1 ( Missoula 1946 )

posted: Dec 31, 2020

Harry Lee Cummings Jr., 94, distinguished architect in the Greater Seattle Area, died at home in Kirkland on January 29, 2019. Harry was born in Conway, Arkansas and grew up in Oskaloosa, Iowa, He attended Iowa State University for one year before enlisting in the Army Air Corps, serving from 1943 to 1945.

Harry graduated with a BA in Architecture at Iowa State, then completed an MA in Urban Design at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in June 1950. He was one of ten graduate students accepted at Cranbrook to study under the renowned Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen

Harry worked briefly for several of Seattle's larger architectural firms before opening his own office in 1956 in the old East Side Journal Building in Kirkland. This was the beginning of a remarkable career spanning over 50 years on the Eastside and in the Greater Seattle Area.

Sometimes in partnership but more often on his own, Cummings Associates Architects designed and supervised the construction of hundreds of projects large and small throughout the region including health care clinics, recreational facilities, government projects, office buildings, and especially public schools. Cummings Associates designed 40 schools for the Lake Washington School District alone, and well over 1,000 projects in the course of his career. The firm grew in size and prestige to become the 22nd largest architectural firm in the Puget Sound region with some 27 employees.

Harry jumped at Missoula during the 1946 season and had seven training and five fire jumps.