South Beach, Washington

Editorial Team and Acknowledgments

Lead Editor: Robert Hutchison
Co-Editor: Daniel Abramson
Community Representatives: Kevin Goodrich, Jamie Judkins, and John Shaw
Graphics and Layout: Karen Duan, Robert Hutchison Architecture

Robert Hutchison. Photograph courtesy of Robert Hutchison

Robert Hutchison is a practitioner, researcher, and educator whose interests and practice overlap the fields of architecture, installation, and photography. He is principal of Robert Hutchison Architecture, and an affiliate associate professor in the University of Washington Department of Architecture, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate studios. In 2018, Hutchison led a multidisciplinary group of architecture, landscape architecture, and planning students to speculate the future of Mexico City, specifically related to the themes of water, seismology, infrastructure, and inequity. Since March 2019, when he traveled to the Sendai region of Japan as a UW Runstad Real Estate Fellow to study the topic of earthquake and tsunami resiliency, Hutchison has been researching the state of emergency preparedness for communities along the Pacific coast of Washington state that are subject to tsunami inundation. Honors include a 2017 Rome Prize from the American Academy of Rome and a 2009 Emerging Voice award from The Architectural League. Most recently, Hutchison was selected as a 2020–21 Creative Artist Fellow by the Japan–US Friendship Commission. For this fellowship, he plans to travel to Japan in 2021 to study the relationship of recently constructed tsunami infrastructure to small communities along the Tohoku coastline of Japan.

Dan Abramson. Photograph courtesy of Dan Abramson

Daniel Abramson is an associate professor in the University of Washington’s Department of Urban Design and Planning. His research focuses on community resilience and adaptive planning in disaster recovery and hazard mitigation, and he has taught multidisciplinary studios integrated with scientific research on new protocols for state agencies and communities to envision hazards-resilient development on the Washington coast. This community-engaged research incorporates the latest science in localized seismic, tsunami, and sea-level-rise modeling and risk communication into practical community planning and urban design. South Beach, including the City of Westport and the Ocosta School District with North America’s first tsunami vertical evacuation structure, are among the current local partners in the project. Abramson is now lead principal investigator in a new National Science Foundation Coastlines and People (CoPe) project, working to develop geo-narratives that leverage scientific advances in modeling of hazardous geo-environmental processes, as well as local community history and understanding of hazards. Japanese and Chilean collaborators in this work are also helping to bring lessons of recent subduction zone megaquake and tsunami disasters around the Pacific Rim to Washington state, and to inspire our international partners with this example of American small-town pro-active spirit and long-term environmental thinking.

Kevin Goodrich is public works director for the City of Westport, a member of Westport’s Tsunami Safety Committee, and chair of the board of commissioners for the South Beach parks and recreation district. He is the key point of contact in the community for numerous research and planning projects with state and county agencies and the University of Washington. Goodrich also coaches boys’ and girls’ wrestling for Ocosta High School, his own alma mater. A resident of Westport, he has deep roots in the community. His grandmother, Neddie Rose Farrington, also known as the “Grandmother of Westport,” was a central figure in the town’s civic and commercial life, including the growth of its charter fishing industry, from the late 1950s onward.

John Shaw owned and operated boat-building companies on and off the Harbor for more than 20 years before opting to semi-retire in 2013 to spend more time in Aberdeen with family. He has been executive director of the Westport South Beach Historical Society, which operates the Westport Maritime Museum and Grays Harbor Light, since 2014. He was an early board member of the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority and for the past two years has served on the board of the Aberdeen Museum of History, and currently serves as the board chair in efforts to rebuild the Museum. He was appointed by the Westport City Council to serve on Westport’s tsunami safety committee and the lodging tax advisory committee, and has been a member of the Ocean Shores–Westport Ferry committee since 2017.

Karen Duan is a lecturer in architecture at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, where she teaches undergraduate studio. Her work focuses on the role of representation in architecture, as well as the hybridization of digital and physical means of making. She holds a master of architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and bachelor of science degree in architecture from the University of Michigan. Duan assisted Robert Hutchison Architecture on the content and graphic layout of this report.

Acknowledgments

Our initial vision for this project involved all of us visiting South Beach and engaging regularly with the community. Our plans were significantly affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it much more difficult for all of us to visit together as a group, as well as limiting the amount of direct connection with the community that we had originally hoped for. Two community members, John Shaw (executive director of the Westport South Beach Historical Society) and Kevin Goodrich (public works director for the City of Westport) became instrumental in our being able to continue to develop the project during lockdown. We are incredibly grateful for the generous time and insight they provided to us and our contributors.

Of course, the project only became what it is because of the wonderful, diverse voices of our five contributors themselves. Thank you Eirik, Barbara, Skip, Cory, and Gregory for your insightful and thoughtful approaches to your individual contributions; for your openness to work together as a team, which strengthened the individual contributions as well as the project as a whole; and for your patience with us as we worked through the difficult task of learning how to edit a project such as this.

And huge thanks go out to Karen Duan who contributed to both the content and graphic layout of our project submission.

Finally, thank you to The Architectural League for selecting our project as one of the nine portraits of rural communities in the US, and especially for Nicholas Anderson’s guidance and encouragement throughout the development of the project.