John S. Detlie papers, 1945-1992  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Detlie, John S. (John Stewart), 1908-2005
John S. Detlie papers
1945-1992 (inclusive)
5.98 cubic feet (3 boxes, 2 oversize folders, 2 oversize packages and 1 vertical file)
Collection Number
Papers of John Detlie, architect, painter, and movie set designer
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

John Stewart Detlie was an architect, painter, movie set designer, and arts leader in Seattle in the 1950s. He was born December 23, 1908 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and died November 30, 2005, in La Quinta, California, of lung cancer.

Detlie earned a BA in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania in 1932 and a Masters in 1933. After graduation he moved to Hollywood to work in the movie industry. In 1940 he was nominated for an Academy Award for his work as production designer on the film Bitter Sweet, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. He left Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in 1942 to manage the Boeing camouflage project in Seattle as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Corps of Engineers. He subsequently worked with several Seattle based architectural firms, including Detlie & Peck, in Seattle.

Mr. Detlie was a pioneer in the Seattle arts movement in the 1950s. He was a member of the Beer and Culture Society, a small group of academics, architects, and artists who later formed Allied Arts of Seattle, serving as its first president. The group pressured the Seattle City Council to create a Municipal Arts Commission, which laid the groundwork for building the Seattle Center and hosting the 1962 World's Fair.

Mr. Detlie designed a number of Seattle buildings, including Children's Orthopedic Hospital, several University of Washington buildings, and Temple De Hirsch. Detlie also wrote and lectured on religious architecture and was a painter.

Mr. Detlie and his second wife, Virginia Crowell, whom he married in 1946, left Seattle in 1960 after the death of their 3-year-old son, Christopher. Detlie went on to become a noted architect in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Honolulu, before retiring near Palm Springs in 1974. His first marriage (1940-1943), to the film actress Veronica Lake, ended in divorce.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Includes clippings, correspondence, ephemera, and two scrapbooks documenting Detlie's architectural career and involvement in Allied Arts and related organizations. Accompanied by one large original drawing of the Fairytale mural at Seattle Children's Orthopedic Hospital; a large rendering of the interior of Temple De Hirsch; mounted drawings of features of Temple De Hirsch; and presentation boards for various Detlie architectural commissions. Second accession consists of Allied Arts of Seattle membership rosters, minutes, and proposals.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries

Preferred Citation

John Detlie papers, 5479, Special Collections Division, University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Accession No. 5479-001: John S. Detlie papers, 1945-1992Return to Top

5.95 cubic feet (3 boxes, 2 oversize folders and 2 oversize packages)

Scope and Content: Clippings, correspondence, ephemera, scrapbooks documenting Detlie's architectural career and involvement in Allied Arts of Seattle. Proposals, drawings and presentation boards for Temple De Hirsch, Children's Orthopedic Hospital and other Detlie designs, 1945-1992.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users

Special Media: Photograph (prints) Painting

Restrictions on Use: Undetermined

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Accession
1 5479-001
Biographical clippings
1 5479-001
Photograph of Detlie
1 5479-001
Allied Arts
Scope and Content: Includes clippings, correspondence, and meeting minutes.
1954-1960; 1980-1981
1 5479-001
Municipal Arts Commission, Seattle
Scope and Content: Includes clippings, annual reports, and proposal.
1959; 1983; undated
1 5479-001
Washington State Arts Council
Scope and Content: Includes meeting minutes and rosters.
1 5479-001
United States Engineers, Seattle District
1 photograph
1 5479-001
Boeing camouflage; later clippings
1 5479-001
Children's Orthopedic Hospital
1 5479-001
Detlie and Peck, Seattle Aquarium proposal
1 5479-001
Temple De Hirsch clippings, correspondence, and photographs
Includes 12 8x10 black and white photographic prints
1961; 1976; undated
1 5479-001
Religious commissions
1 5479-001
Design for baptismal font (unidentified)
1 5479-001
Structural design specs/lateral force
1959; undated
1 5479-001
Architectural record
1 5479-001
"The creative art of architecture", speech to AASA convention
1 5479-001
University of Pennsylvania alumni
1 5479-001
1 5479-001
University of California Los Angeles Arts Special Collection; list of works donated to
1 5479-001
Art exhibition-religious art
1 5479-001
Correspondence: Ewen Dingwall to Maxine Cushing Gray
1 5479-001
Correspondence: Mrs. J. Glen Liston
1 5479-001
2 5479-001
Scrapbooks of Detlie's architectural work
2 scrapbooks of photographs and clippings
1948-1954; undated
3 5479-001
Children's Orthopedic Hospital: clipping
1 large matted photocopy
Scope and Content: Clipping from Seattle Post-Intelligencerregarding the children's mural.
4 5479-001
Children's Orthopedic Hospital: photographs
1 large matte board with mounted photographs
Includes 3 black and white 6x10 inch photographs of the exterior, 1 color 8x10 inch photograph of the interior mural, and 3 color 3x5 inch photographs of the interior chapel
5 5479-001
Original painting of the Children's Orthopedic Hospital fairytale mural
1 3x5 foot framed painting
4 5479-001
Gaffney's Lake Wilderness Lodge presentation board
2 8x10 inch black and white photographs
1 4x10 inch photograph
1 4x16 inch color drawing
3 5479-001
St. Augustine-By-The-Sea Church: drawing of exterior of the church.
1 10x14 inch mounted color photocopy
4 5479-001
St. Augustine-By-The-Sea Church: interior and exterior photographs
1 large matte board with mounted photographs
11 3x5 inch color photographic prints
1 11x14 inch color photograph of a drawing
7 5479-001
St. Augustine-By-The-Sea Church: drawing of the altar
1 35x40 inch drawing
3 5479-001
Temple De Hirsch: drawings and photograph
3 drawings
1 10x14 inch color photograph
Scope and Content: Drawing subjects include an altar piece, menorrah, and lighting fixture; photograph shows the interior of the temple.
1960; undated
4 5479-001
Temple De Hirsch: interior and exterior photographs
2 large matte boards with mounted photographs
3 7x11 inch black and white
2 6x10 inch black and white
4 4x5 inch color
1 9x12 inch color
7 5479-001
Temple De Hirsch: drawings of lighting fixtures and other architectural details
2 drawings
6 5479-001
Temple De Hirsch: painting of interior
1 29x41 inch framed watercolor painting

Accession No. 5479-002: John S. Detlie papers, 1954-1956Return to Top

1 folder

Scope and Content: Membership rosters, agendas, proposals and meeting minutes for Allied Arts Seattle.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: The creator's literary rights have been transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Processing Info: Minimally processed.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Architects--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Artists--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Children--Hospitals--Washington (State)--Seattle--Designs and plans
  • Temples--Washington (State)--Seattle--Designs and plans
  • Personal Names :
  • Detlie, John S. (John Stewart), 1908-2005--Archives
  • Corporate Names :
  • Allied Arts of Seattle, Inc
  • Children's Orthopedic Hospital (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Seattle (Wash.). Municipal Art Commission
  • Seattle Aquarium
  • Temple de Hirsch (Seattle, Wash.)
  • United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Seattle District
  • Geographical Names :
  • Lake Wilderness (Wash.)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)