Oral history interview with I. Mervin "Sonny" Gorasht, 2016  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Gorasht, Sonny
Oral history interview with I. Mervin "Sonny" Gorasht
2016 (inclusive)
Originals as received: 1 digital audio file (WAV) and 1 computer file (PDF)
Collection Number
6175 (Accession No. 6175-001)
Oral history interview with I. Mervin "Sonny" Gorasht
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

No restrictions on access.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

At age 17, after a “wonderful childhood” in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, a city of about 100,000 with a small Jewish community, I. Mervin (Sonny) Gorasht came to the University of Washington to study architecture. He had attended an after-school “Talmud Torah” Hebrew school in Calgary through the 9th grade. Upon receiving his architecture degree, limited by work restrictions on Canadian immigrants, Sonny worked for an architectural firm in Spokane and Sonny and bride Gena Berch Gorasht spent two years in Europe during which Sonny worked for a London architect and then traveled around the continent. Back in the U.S., in Spokane, by a fluke Sonny reconnected with his old firm and was sent on assignment to Seattle. Growing up around the Calgary Stampede, Sonny had long been interested in horses. A cousin got him into owning horses and then he became a breeder of race horses. Sonny worked on the conversion of the old Bikur Cholim Machzikay Hadath building to the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Theater, designed the new BCMH synagogue in South Seattle and Beth Am Reform Congregation in North Seattle and worked on developing the Seattle Hebrew Academy in the old Forest Ridge Academy building on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Sonny has been on the boards of Seattle Hebrew Academy and the UW Jewish Studies program board for many years as well as the City of Seattle Design Commission and Seattle Central Community College.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Oral history interview with I. Mervin "Sonny" Gorasht conducted by Ruth Sassoon and Eleanor "Bunny" Rogers on 28 December 2016.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

Forms part of the Washington State Jewish Archives.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's copyrights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Jewish architects--Washington (State)
  • Jews--Washington (State)
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)

Personal Names

  • Gorasht, Sonny--Archives
  • Gorasht, Sonny--Interviews

Other Creators

  • Corporate Names
    • Washington State Jewish Archives (University of Washington) (host institution)