≡ Menu

Russell Garrison and Lakewood Library

Tenzler Library AwardRussell Garrison is buried in New Tacoma Cemetery, in the Veterans Honor Garden. During World War Two he graduated from Lincoln High School in Tacoma, and joined the 11th Airborne, as a paratrooper. The unit fought the Japanese in the Philippines, seeing action in Leyte and Luzon. That’s quite something, for a family to send their only son, just out of high school, into a major conflict zone.

The teenage soldier became part of the forces occupying Japan. He was promoted to staff sergeant and ended his service as chief of a drafting section. He drew up many of the maps that were included in a book titled The Angels: A History Of The 11th Airborne Division, 1943-1946.

Russell Garrison’s time in Japan had an impact on him. We can see this in Lakewood Library, which was designed to bring us close to nature, and which originally had a Japanese Garden, on the Gravelly Lake side.

Lakewood Library was the pinnacle of Russell Garrison’s career as an architect, and in 1964 it won the First Honor award from the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association. I should also mention that in 1962 Russell Garrison was Lakewood’s Man of the Year.

Lakewood Library is special, and it is fitting that a City taking such pride in its military connections has a library shaped by the vision of a World War Two veteran, a vision which won a prestigious national award.

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.