firm active: 1907-1921

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Writings by William Gray Purcell
Publications (1920s-1960s)

Beginning in 1923, Purcell wrote thirteen newspaper articles for the Christian Science Monitor. Four of these general interest writings reported advances in bridge design and construction, including a description of the Wolf Creek bridge built by Purcell & Elmslie in Oregon in 1919. The design problems of auditoriums, particularly for Christian Science assemblies, were discussed in two articles that appeared in 1925. "A Breakfast Pullman for Small Dwellings" described built in table seating for kitchens, and was reprinted in several other periodicals over following decades. These publications were given commission numbers in the Portland accounting system.


This monthly magazine was published by the Architect's Small House Service Bureau (ASHSB), a national organization supported during the 1920s by the US Department of Commerce and the American Institute of Architects as a means to provide ready-made professional working drawings to people who might not otherwise be able to afford or have access to the services of an architect.  Purcell produced several sets of drawings that were sold under various numbers in the ASHSB marketing system.  The Small House was designed to convey better understanding of the function of architecture to the lay audience as well as a means for advertising the plans for small dwellings offered by ASHSB.  Named in tribute to the Seven Lamps of Architecture essays by John Ruskin, "The Lamps of Home Building" series were brief, one or two page pieces present the kind of advice given earlier to P&E clients.

"The Arts" article series, The Spectator, June 1, 1929 to June 28, 1930.

Weekly columns in a Portland, Oregon magazine, covering a wide range of historical and contemporary topics. Page views from the original publication are reproduced with some image processing for legibility.


Northwest Architect (1940-1955)


Approximately 50 articles and dozens more short editorial pieces written by Purcell cover the waterfront of organic understanding, architectural history including P&E, the "modern" practice of architectural, and many contemporary subjects of the day.  Introductory notes provide a fuller explanation of the topics.

"Louis H. Sullivan, Prophet of Democracy"
Journal of the American Institute of Architects
December, 1951




research courtesy mark hammons