April 1, 2019
We are not fooling when we tell you that Bassetti Architects was founded on April 1! It was 1947 and today is our 72nd anniversary. Fred and Mary Bassetti opened the doors to begin work on a couple of custom houses following World War II. We’ve grown and changed a just a little bit over those years. To gain some perspective on our company’s journey, here are a few thoughts and observations from Bassetti Principal, Lorne McConachie on his 43-year tenure with our firm.
I applied for a job at Bassetti in 1980. Given the general lack of work in Seattle at that time, my job application was rejected. Bassetti wasn’t hiring. Five year later, I was loaned to Bassetti Norton Metler to help out on a custom house project. We were a team of 12 people working out of a remodeled basement office at 3rd and Virginia. We offered architecture services with annual billings of around $3 million. Fred Bassetti was still actively involved in the practice, along with principals Skip Norton and Dick Metler. A couple of years later, Karl Rekevics joined the ownership group. Our major projects included work for Lakeside School, Franklin High School, and Gateway Tower (now the Municipal Tower).
A second generation of leadership emerged in the 1990’s that included Rick Huxley, Marilyn Brockman, Greg Hepp, and myself. We focused on designs for educational facilities and sprinkled in a few other major projects including Mary Gates Hall at UW and Seattle City Hall.
Today, we are a firm of 78 people with offices in Seattle and Portland. We are completing the transition to a third generation of leaders including Dan Miles, Caroline Lemay, Michael Davis, Jordan Kiel, Joe Echeverri, Kristian Kicinski, and Judy Yeoh. In addition to our ongoing architectural services, we offer interior design, historic preservation, environmental graphics, master planning, and programming services. Our annual billings in 2019 will be around $24 million.
I’ve always appreciated that we were founded on the trickster’s holiday of April Fool’s. Here’s to our 72nd year!
Lorne McConachie, Principal