illustrations Charlotte Hemmings
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Williams Partners Architects
Romantic Sun Valley story
I had just taken a new job when I met my wife-to-be at a wedding in Seattle. My new love interest was from Sun Valley, and within three months I quit my job and moved over to give our relationship a try. Originally I thought I would stay through the 1986-87 winter, then move back to Seattle. Nearly twenty-three years and two teen-age sons later, I’m still here.
Favorite part of working with your clients
Some of our homes have been like a fine aged wine. Over the many years our clients live in their homes, their identity has become almost inseparable from the home.
Why do architects love the Sun Valley Lodge?
The Lodge defines this place in a singular way. Beyond the small mining town, beyond the agricultural ranching town, it is the building that most represents what makes this place unique.
What project could improve our lives?
The Sun Valley Center for the Arts building and the entire planned Simplot property development. I think these projects will have more importance to the living community of Ketchum than the other tourist-oriented projects. I think it has the opportunity to become an important component in the day-to-day identity of the community.
How can local government promote small business?
In the central business core of Ketchum, I think ground floor businesses should be subsidized in some way.
How big should Sun Valley build their planned hotel for the base of River Run?
I think a hotel at the base of the mountain ought to be allowed to go as high as the developer would like to build it, as long as it is very close to the ski base.
Yin and yang of life in a small town
I run into people all the time who have lived in the valley for twenty or more years and have never heard of me. As a businessman, that grates on me a bit. As a resident who likes the outdoor life, it suits me fine.
Does architecture run in your blood?
My great-grandfather was a prominent early Seattle architect (Harlan Thomas), who designed, among others, the Sorrento Hotel, Harborview Hospital, the Corner Market building in Pike Place Market. Plus he was the chairman of the University of Washington department of architecture for about 14 years.