Branch, Kenneth G.
Born in Vernon, British Columbia on September 2, 1914, Kenneth Gordon Branch received his architectural training at the University of Washington. After receiving his degree in 1939, he went to work for his father, Bertram H. Branch, an architect (1939-1940). Together they designed the International style J.W. Bryan Jr. House in Bremerton (1940). After working for a short five months for the architectural firm of Naramore & Brady (1941), Kenneth returned to his dad's firm. During the war, he was employed by the Bremerton Housing Authority and then by the Federal Public Housing Authority (1942-44).
He opened his own firm in 1945 in Bremerton. Seven years later his younger brother, Barry D. (sometimes spelled Barrie), joined the firm (1950-1959). Their dad, Bertram, served as a design consultant. In 1959, Kenneth D. Garrison joined the firm and the name was changed to Branch, Branch & Garrison. Together, the firm quickly became the largest architectural firm on the Kitsap Peninsula.
Projects by the firm include East Bremerton High School (1954); West High School Science Building in Bremerton; classroom wing at Dewey Junior High in Bremerton; First Federal Savings & Loan (1959) in Bremerton; several buildings on the Olympic College Campus (1954-1966); Eagles Temple (1943) in Bremerton; Dr. Bright Dental Clinic (c. 1950) in Bremerton; Carpenters Hall (1944), and the Kitsap County Courthouse Annex (1945) in Port Orchard.
Residential projects in Bremerton include the Jim Sullivan House (c. 1965); Kenneth Branch House (c. 1958); Thomas Kono House (c. 1957); Dr. Lindstrom House (1954); and Joseph Parr House (1950). Other residential designs include the Al Spencer House (c.1960) on Vashon Island and the Lumley House (1962) in Tacoma.
Branch retired in 1968 and traveled the world extensively with his wife. In 1972, he was hired by UNESCO to serve in Sudan and Liberia where he established the Department of Educational Facilities. Reportedly, he designed several schools in Liberia.
Branch was an active member of the Seattle Chapter of the AIA, serving as chair for the licensing board, and delegate to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. In those positions he was instrumental in establishing conformity among architectural licensing standards throughout the country.
Branch passed away in September 1991 at the age of 77 in Bensen, Arizona.
-Michael C. Houser