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Victor Steinbrueck

Victor Steinbrueck
Victor Steinbrueck

As an architect and advocate for preserving Seattle's architectural character, Victor Steinbrueck left a lasting impression on his home town.

Steinbrueck is credited with and best known for his design of the Space Needle in 1960, Steinbrueck's employer at the time, architect John Graham, requested a design that included a revolving restaurant. Steinbrueck's son, Peter, said Victor used a teak sculpture of a woman as inspiration for the Needle.

Pike Market sketch
Victor Steinbrueck's sketchwork depicting Seattle scenery helped him track the changes in the city, year after year. In his book, "Cityscape No. 2," Steinbrueck wrote, " All my life, I have been exploring and looking at this city called Seattle. I cannot name any place here that I have not watched change. . ."
Steinbrueck studied at the University of Washington and began working as an architect in the mid-1930s. He preferred a sleek, Modernist style in his residential designs. In addition, he taught architecture at the University of Washington beginning in 1946, later serving as acting chairman of the Department of Architecture, and retiring as professor emeritus in 1976.

As an activist for saving structures that embodied Seattle character, Steinbrueck helped the Friends of the Market preserve Pike Place Market in 1971, and fought to preserve historic structures in Pioneer Square. He also fought to create open space at Westlake Plaza, but failed to convince the city and developers to develop his vision of a larger park at Fourth and Pine.

Steinbrueck died in 1985, leaving a legacy of civic involvement and understated, Modernist residential designs, as well as the beloved Space Needle.