Discovering Great Mormon Buildings

Alderwood Manor Ward Exterior


I haven’t been to this building yet, but wanted to post this to try and find others who are familiar with the building. Well-known and influential Seattle architects Ibsen Nelsen and Russel Sabin won a 1960 AIA Washington State Honor Award and a 1961 AIA Seattle Honor Award for this adaptation of a Standard plan. The AIA Jury said of the building, “A Church, rare in these days of architectural exhibitionism, having qualities of dignity and simplicity: fine massing of church and school volumes, with generous, graceful roofs. Completely thought through, with pleasant color and sensitive incorporation of outdoor spaces.” (Church News Jan 27, 1962 Des News)

22015 48th Avenue West
Mountlake Terrace, WA
Built 1960
Architect: Ibsen A Nelsen and Russell B Sabin
Honor Awards for AIA Washington State and AIA Seattle
Click for Map Location of Building

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6 responses

  1. This was my stake center growing up. It is called by the members in the area, the Mountlake Terrace Building or the Stake Center. It belongs to the Shoreline Washington Stake and is used as their Stake Center. It once was the Stake Center of the Lynnwood Washington Stake. Then, in the early 90s the stake had a new Stake Center built and the building once again became a local meetinghouse. What else would you like to know?

    August 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    • Thanks for the great info, Matthew. Does it have any courtyard-type spaces? You don’t have any pictures of the building, or know of someone who does? I would love some of the exterior details as well as any interior shots.

      August 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm

  2. steve

    I live in Seattle and used to live in the Shoreline Stake, but I have never been to the Mountlake Terrace building. The previously poster incorrectly identified this as the Shoreline Stake’s stake center. It is not. The stake occasionally uses this building for stake conferences or other large meetings because it is the largest meetinghouse in the stake, but the stake offices are located in the Shoreline/Greenwood Ward building, which is a fine example of an A-frame chapel with courtyard spaces.

    October 3, 2011 at 1:01 am

    • Thanks for the update, steve. I have recently received a bunch of pictures of this building and will be posting some of them soon. Do you happen to have any pics of the Shoreline building?

      October 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm

  3. Bryan Sabin

    My father, Russell Sabin, was the primary designer and project architect for this building. I was very young when it was built, but still remember helping nail shingles on the roof. The original design had an open courtyard. The “junior sunday school” room had a wall of windows that faced the courtyard. The last time I visited the building (a few years ago) I was sad to see that much of the open space had been filled in with additions for classroom and office space. It was not originally used as a stake center, so it probably did not have sufficient square footage for that purpose. It was originally the Alderwood Manor Ward building. The ward split in the mid 60’s and my dad was the first Bishop of the original Edmonds Ward. He was a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright and incorporated some decorative elements reminiscent of some of Mr. Wright’s work. The chapel makes use of colored glass in an abstract design that is unique for an LDS building. I love the roof lines… has a Japanese vibe. My father is still around. He is 90 years old and living in San Diego. We left Edmonds in 1970 and Russ had a long career practicing in Honolulu, including a five year stint as a church architect in the South Pacific.

    March 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm

  4. Virginia Nelson

    This is interesting to read about. My father Basil Cox, was one of the primary builders for this building. Joe Earl was the main contractor. My father did all of the concert work, and it has always been my understanding that because of the time he took in doing the concert work, was one of the reasons that the building won the Northwest architectural award.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:31 am

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