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April 10, 2024

Celebrated architect L. Jane Hastings has died

Pioneering architect Lois Jane Hastings passed away March 25 at the age of 96.

Hastings was born and raised in Seattle. She studied architecture at the University of Washington, where she was the only woman in a class of 200 and earned her bachelor of architecture degree in 1952.

Later, she would become the eighth female architect to be licensed in the state of Washington.

She established her first firm – L. Jane Hastings, Architect – in 1959. In 1974, she established The Hastings Group, which operated until 2002.

Over the course of her storied career, Hastings designed over 500 buildings in the Seattle area. Most of her work was focused on residential buildings, including her own home in Laurelhurst that she shared with her late husband and fellow architect Norman Johnston. The property is recognized as an early architectural example of sustainable design in the Pacific Northwest and received an AIA Seattle Honor Award in 1977.

Notable non-residential projects include the renovation of the University of Washington's Cunningham Hall to serve as the women's center on campus, renovations at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and the historic restoration of a Tulalip tribal building.

In addition to her design work, Hastings lectured part-time in design studies at the University of Washington in 1975 and was a regular public speaker on architectural subjects. At Seattle Community College, she administered and taught in the architectural drafting program from 1969 to 1980.

She was an active member of the American Institute of Architects, the International Union of Women Architects, and became a fellow of the AIA in 1980 and the first woman chancellor of the AIA College of Fellows in 1992.

In 2002, Hastings was honored with a Medal of Honor from AIA Northwest & Pacific Region.

To crown and celebrate a wonderful career, in November 2023 Hastings published her first book, a memoir called “The Woman in the Room,” where she reflected on her long career as a female architect in Washington.

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