The 100 / #85: Vernon Bryant

#85 Vernon Bryant Retired Architect Washington, USA

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About Vernon

Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Vernon Carlton Bryant, Jr and I was born in Lincoln Maine on September 29 1927. I spent my early years in Syracuse, New York; through the ninth grade. In 1942 we moved to Birmingham, Michigan where I went to high school, graduating in 1945.

In 1946-47 I was in the army, stationed in the Presidio, San Francisco. From 1947-52 I attended the University Of Michigan in Ann Arbor, graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.

I worked for several firms in the Bay Area designing schools and in June of 1962 became involved in a project which changed my whole direction in architecture. I became involved with the University of Alaska Fairbanks in three of their Capital Improvement Programs in 1970, 1972 and 1974, and in 1973, I opened my own office as a sole proprietor.

I met my wife, Mary Jeanne, in San Francisco in 1955 and we lived in Sunnyvale until 1972 when we moved to Mercer Island. I have three children; David, an architect in San Francisco; Paige who with her husband, have a winery in Woodinville; and John, a landscape gardener on Mercer Island. Unfortunately, my wife died of cancer in 2002. I am now retired.

While at Michigan, I was on the track team. I am an avid photographer and had two of my pictures exhibited at 1954-1955 New York Worlds Fair, one winning a silver medal and the other a bronze medal.

What one thing are you most proud of?
I am proud I have kept physically fit for my life to date. I am also proud that, though not working for a large company with retirement benefits, and as a sole practitioner, I have provided myself and family a very good life style. I have been fortunate with my health in my nearly 85 years to date and expect to travel considerably more during the next 15 years.

What one thing have you seen in your life time which you feel has changed the world most significantly?
Probably the most significant thing that has changed the world in my lifetime is the computer.

What one piece of advice would you give to your ten year old self?
If I were giving advice to a younger person it would be to listen carefully; to think for yourself; and not be afraid to take chances. You learn more from your mistakes than from your successes. Finally, to keep physically fit by exercising regularly

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