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Harold Worthington

Honorary Member 1987, Life Member 1969, SEAW President 1960, SEAW Seattle President 1959
Born in Quilcene, Washington, Harold L. Worthington earned his civil engineering degree cum laude from the University of Washington in June 1923. 

He first went to work with W. H. Witt in Seattle, and upon Witt's sudden death in a railroad crossing accident in 1929 formed a partnership with George Runciman that became one of the few structural firms to maintain a practice during the Great Depression and the early World War II years.  With a small staff of four or five, they designed many of Seattle's important structures including the Joseph Vance Building at Third & Union, the Tower Building at Seventh & Olive, the 1223 Spring Apartment Building, and in Pierce County the Purdy Spit Bridge. 

At the end of war, the tremendous increase in the volume of building projects led to the firm's expansion, as Harold went into partnership with John Skilling, Helge Helle, Joe Jackson, Jack Christiansen, and Les Robertson.  The firm produced many major projects located throughout Washington and the US, including the SeaFirst Bank Building; for the Seattle World's Fair the United States Science Pavilion, the International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation building, and the Fine Arts Pavilion and Playhouse.

After nearly a half century in active practice, he retired in 1967 from the firm then known as Worthington, Skilling, Helle, and Jackson, with offices in the Washington Building, Seattle and in New York City.

He participated actively in SEAW throughout his career, and following his retirement "served as a one-man Presentation and Awards Committee."  He took on the principal task of purchasing engineering books in memory of late SEAW members for placement in the Seattle Public Library (Equilibrium December 1994).
Posted April 2012