In 1900, John Graham, a young English architect, established his practice in Seattle, concentrating on residential work. By 1911, Graham had expanded into commercial and institutional services, and engineers joined the firm in 1920.
The firm's legacy includes Seattle landmarks such as the Ford Motor Co. plant (now Shurgard Storage), downtown Frederick & Nelson (now the Nordstrom store) the downtown Bon Marche, the Exchange Building and the Dexter Horton Building.
Following the design of the Seattle plant for Ford, Graham was selected as the company's architect. He moved his family to Detroit and during the next three years designed more than 30 assembly plants in the U.S. and Canada.
In 1931, Graham opened an office in Shanghai, China, but closed it in 1937.
In 1946, Graham's son John (Jack) assumed ownership of his father's Seattle practice and changed the name to John Graham and Co. His architectural work in the Northwest includes the Space Needle and the Northgate Mall in Seattle, the nation's first planned regional shopping center, which opened in 1950.
Meanwhile, in 1962, Irving Dana formed Irving R. Dana and Associates in Omaha. He was joined by Bill Larson and Jim Roubal in 1966 and the firm's name changed to Dana Larson Roubal and Associates. Eventually, the name shortened to DLR Group and expansion continued.
In 1986, DLR Group purchased John Graham and Co. in Seattle, doing business as John Graham Associates/DLR Group. In 1998, the firm simplified its name to DLR Group. DLR's Northwest projects include the Clallam Bay Corrections Center expansion, the Oregon Women's Prison and Intake Center in Wilsonville, the Eugene Federal Courthouse in Oregon and the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory in Seattle.