Bryant, Jack N.
Born May 16, 1911 in Portland, Oregon, Jack Nichols Bryant received his formal architectural training at the University of Oregon, graduating in 1935. Upon graduation he worked for the architectural firm of Lawrence, Holford & Allen (1935-1936), and for Hollis Johnston (1936-1939) in Portland. He then moved to Gilchrist, Oregon where he became Superintendent of Construction for the Gilchrist Lumber Company (1939-1940). While there, Bryant reportedly provided several designs for the company including most of the structures at the company town. In 1940, Bryant moved to Seattle and began working for architect Richard Lytel (1940-1942) serving as a draftsman. He then moved to the firm of John Graham & Associates (1942-1946), eventually becoming a job captain, before rejoining Richard Lytel in 1946 (1946-1948).
Upon receiving his architectural license in 1948, Bryant opened his own independent practice. Known projects include 75 homes in the Aquacene Development in Federal Way (1954); a fire station for King County Fire District (1956); the Southgate Motors Ford Agency (1956); Guaranty National Bank (1957) in White Center; Malone’s Inc. Dry Cleaning Plant (1960); the A. Lodell House (1960); the Dobco Clinic (1963) in Burien; Dr. Hageman Clinic (1967) in White Center; and the Guaranty National Bank, Boulevard Park Branch (1968) in Seattle.
Bryant’s residential designs were featured several times in the Seattle Times as the “Home-of-the-Month,” but it was his design for the Yeakel-Powell Shopping Center (1958) in Burien which put his practice on the map. The strip mall shopping center featured a unique plywood zigzag roof which was reportedly the first all-wood application of a folded plate roof system in the country.
His skills with the use of plywood lead him to receive the commission in co-operation with structural engineer Harvey H. Johnson, to design the Electric Utilities Pavilion at the Century 21 Expo (1962) in Seattle. The open-air pavilion featured a spiral shaped viewing platform which overlooked a 40 ft tall shell that simulated a dam. Three thousand gallons of water per minute flowed over the spillway which landed in a large pond at the base featuring a 22 ft long map which pinpointed all the dams in Washington state.
Bryant served as chair of the King County Planning Commission (1953-1954) and was an active member of the Seattle Municipal League. He passed away in Seattle in December of 1993.
-Michael C. Houser