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December 27, 2022

Adler and Sullivan’s Seattle Opera House Project

Ochsner, J. K. (1989). Adler and Sullivan’s Seattle Opera House Project. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 48(3), 223-231.

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Adler and Sullivan's Seattle Opera House project is known from a perspective drawing and three plans that were first published in Inland Architect in 1891. It has been known that the demise of the project was due to financial difficulties, but otherwise the circumstances surrounding the commission have remained obscure. This article presents new information regarding the client, the commission, and the architects. Seattle newspaper reports, surviving correspondence, and project records provide the basis for a more detailed description of the Opera House project history. In addition, correspondence from Charles H. Bebb, who was sent to Seattle for several months in 1890 as superintending architect for Adler and Sullivan, provides insight into the condition of their office before his permanent move to the city in 1893.