15-Second Olof Hanson, Deaf Architect

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  • Additional information on Olof Hanson, found in several places through Google:

    Olof and his family moved to Seattle in 1902, where he set up an architect partnership and designed homes in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. He is one of the founders of Puget Sound Association of the Deaf (PSAD) in February 1904 (PSAD and the members owned PSAD club house still exist). At the outbreak of World War 1 he and his family moved back to the Midwest, and then back to Seattle on Armistice Day (1918). Olof passes away and was buried in Seattle in September 1933.

  • Additional information on Olof Hanson:

    With a successful business established, Hanson was offered a partnership with Frank Thayer, an architect in Mankato. In hope of experiencing professional growth Hanson accepted the Thayer offer and moved to Mankato in 1901 , He and Thayer then moved to Seattle in 1902 to set up a new practice on the west coast. Thayer soon became ill and retired from professional practice leaving Olof to fend for himself in his new environment. In Hanson’s words, “Seattle was growing, but there were plenty of architects looking for business, and a deaf young man in a strange city did not have much of a chance.” During this time Hanson’s interest in serving the deaf community grew and in 1909 he started a Bible class for the deaf at Trinity Episcopal Church. Hanson worked as a draftsman until the outbreak of World War I when architectural commissions virtually came to a halt He returned to the Midwest and secured drafting positions in St. Paul and later Omaha and then returned to Seattle in November of 1918 on Armistice Day.

    Back in Seattle, Hanson found employment as a draftsman at the University of Washington. He eventually filled the chair of Landscape Architect at the University, however, his architecture was becoming less of a driving force and he began to focus on providing spiritual service to the deaf community, Hanson entered the Episcopal seminary and was ordained a deacon in March of 1924, and an Episcopal Priest in 1929. For financial reasons, Hanson continued to work for the University while providing spiritual service to the deaf of Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver and Portland.

    Olof Hanson died in Seattle, Washington on September 8, 1933.

    Scholars within the deaf community believe Hanson to be this country’s first deaf architect.