Our "Kid-Raising Barn" our first Mercer Island home- followed by 2 more. 
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA PS
A long-time Member Emeritus American Institute of Architects practicing
“Mid-Century Modern” residential architecture in the NorthWest
including the San Juan Islands as well as nearby Vashon Island,
Mercer Island and the "Big Island" of Hawaii. I'm a Seattle,Wash.
native who’s known as a specialist in modern home design.
Although I'm pretty well retired now, I am still available to update 
homes of my design and those of others to today’s more advanced
living standards. This careful updating has become an ever-increasing
practice focus. The Mercer Island house below is an example of my 
expertise in doing this kind of specialized work which always involves 
directing the various building trades involved. Selecting, overseeing
these craftsmen is a very important part of my residential work. J-
   Mercer Island- a nearby neighbor's home to which I added a
   metal roof as well as doing extensive updating and modernizing.
   I do a lot of this for Mercer Island homes- many of whom need
   my touches. I work with a number of good sub-contractors to
   get the needed work done at a good price with a minimum of
   upset and/or delay. This is especially important to those living
   in the house while the work proceeds.

A Jerry Gropp Architect AIA Custom Home on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Another thing I often do in designing a custom home- Scale Models: 


 As a native- born and raised in Seattle and a graduate of the University of Washington's highly-regarded School of Architecture, I thoroughly understand the NorthWest climate- and other localized considerations we home designers must take into account. Eastern and mid-Western styles- many with wide white trim- are usually out of place here on the West Coast. A more expansive connection with nature than that glimpsed through usually smaller "stock" windows is needed to enjoy what's outside and to bring a feeling of needed spaciousness to the interior. A hallmark of what's called "NorthWest Contemporary Architecture"- Island or otherwise- is exposed natural wood framing with lots of job-built "stopped-in" windows bringing in the outside view of the related garden. The resulting effect is akin to that of our modern cars with the building envelope being either solid or transparent. This is in contrast to the usual ordinary building practice of framing a big box with cut-out openings limited by the sizes of expensive and usually overly complicated stock windows. "Green Building" techniques are simply common sense, have long been a most important integral part of my AIA practice.

   The nearby San Juan Islands have been a favorite place in my design work. Part-timers for some forty years on Lopez Island's "Kings Point", we built with our  own hands our waterfront shingled "cottage" (shown here) which we later remodeled with skilled local builders into what's now an upscale place for the people to whom we sold. During these years I designed a number of other homes on Lopez and many of the other SJ Islands as shown on my WebSite. 
Below is the beamed Living Room  of the Letts' Lopez Island Residence, Kings Point. looking at Deadman's Island  (South end of Cattle Pass). (Click on any of these pictures
to enlarge them).

Alterations and Additions have long been an important part of my practice. While I've done many new home projects starting from the ground up, taking an existing home and improving it is very satisfying.   Our own home as originally designed by UW Architecture classmate Hawley Dudley on the South end of Mercer Island is a case in point. This was a "tear-down" which we saved from the demolition crew. We've completely rebuilt it as well as restored the half acre garden. The picture below shows our Living Room with what we added- Extension B. (noted on the Floor Plan below)

These pictures show the "stopped-in" glass windows mentioned above. There's no need to pay for complicated manufactured windows when local dealers can install insulated glass units.



the Master Bedrm Extension A looking out into a private garden.
P&J Floor Plan (Click to enlarge)



                                                1955- Just completed , then (below) the 2005 house & garden redone after eight owners  The mature landscaping was yet another advantage of our buying a '50s home although we had to remodel that when we reworked the home starting with a new torch-down roof. We lived here for 25 years and
recently moved to Island Square Apts.
in Mercer Island's
nice downtown. JG-


                                     2002 the Mercer Island Reporter wrote up our redone home describing it as:

Decorative Railing by son Steve Gropp Salamander Forge, Orcas Island, Washington         

Click here: Salamander Forge, Inc Home - Exquisite metal and wood artwork 

While I had extensive early experience in a number of big offices doing large projects, I found I preferred working with families doing single-family custom homes. That's why I specialized in modernist residential architecture out in the far NorthWest corner of the United States. I've long been based on Mercer Island which is in Lake Washington just East of Seattle and West of Kirkland, Bellevue, Issaquah and Renton. Having done many projects over the years on this unique island city of 22,000 citizens in the middle of Seattle's three million metropolis, I've become highly experienced in dealing with the City of  Mercer Island's rather stringent building requirements- (Click here: Client's Letter - a knol by Jerry Gropp Architect AIA attesting to this). This is an extremely important consideration in choosing an architect to help you in any building or home remodeling on Mercer Island- or anywhere else. And "Green Building" techniques have long been an important part of my practice. My varied experience specializing in custom home design for individual clients makes me especially effective in helping you achieve the home you and your family need. My well-detailed homes are truly "Craftsman" in spirit- using the best of old ways with all the new tools available to build an efficient "modernist" home. I'm a "hands-on" architect having spent much time in the field as well as at my drawing board. It's essential that any residential designer know how to do any of the jobs that it takes to build his creations. Here's an example of this: a JG-built round deck on one of our own Mercer Island family homes. 


In the Seattle Times "Roto" (now known as the Magazine)
Margery Phillips knowingly described Gropp's and other NorthWest architects' homes creating a large well-educated body of appreciative clients such as Loyal and Marge Moore of Mercer Isl. (below). 
I later remodeled, added to this home for owner Jane Meyer Brahm, former editor of the Mercer Island Reporter and now a respected Mercer Island Councilperson. 

Reconsider your “tear-down”

As Nancy Gould-Hilliard said just recently in the Mercer Island Reporter, "Many of these “modern” homes have flat roofs, modular features, high glass doors and windows, steel rails or narrow-slatted trellises and baffles, and landscaped sanctuaries surround them. An example is the nearby headquarters of the Bellevue Botanical Garden on Wilburton Hill.

Mercer Island architect Jerry Gropp specializes in NORTHWEST modern along with “green architecture,” a popular design blend these days. He and his wife, Patty, lived until recently in an updated “50s” Island home saved from demolition a number of years ago. Its 2,400 square feet on a half-acre on the South end includes a mature, also-restored garden. (See above).

If you live in a home built in the 40s-60s with the iconic look of Jim Chiarelli and his partner Paul Kirk, Wendell Lovett, Jerry Gropp, Fred Bassetti and partner, Jack Morse, Ralph Anderson, Paul Thiry, Victor Steinbrueck and others, reconsider your “tear-down”
and preserve our legacy of the recent past".
How well I've served my clients is evidenced by the fact that many of these are repeat clients- as two or three or four or five (or in one case, six times- the family home below was the second of six projects for Dr. & Mrs. Karle Mottet). Owner/architect compatibilty is a important consideration.


(below) A Lake Side Cabana created from an old waterfront shack     that local zoning regulations would not allow to be replaced if it were demolished. (Click) Cabana WebSite to see how this was done.

Working at a distance- As you can see by the rest of my JG WebSite, I've done work in Argentina, Hawaii and other parts of the world. (These are shown on later JG WebPages). Now eMail, Scanners and the Internet have now made back and forth owner-architect design communication much easier, entirely feasible. Below is an example of how I use these tools. I'm now doing an extensive addition to an existing large home at Salmon Point on Lopez Island, WA for the owners, a retired Delta pilot and his Delta flight attendant wife who live most of their time in Salt Lake City. Below is an eMail "Design Sketch" among many other drawings I furnished them of a Master Bathroom layout for their approval: As you can see, I still draw with a T-Square, label & describe with my computer what I've drawn. The scanned pencil drawing below shows a rather unusual indoor-outdoor bath with an up and over glass-roofed tub. One can shower on the way in from mowing the large lawn.