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Press Release

Eric Sloss

For immediate release:
May 6, 2005

Carnegie Mellon Professor of Architecture, Douglas Cooper, Completes Mural in Seattle Courthouse

Architecture Professor Douglas Cooper has created murals for Frankfurt am Main in Germany, the University Center at Carnegie Mellon and the main lobby of the Philadelphia Courthouse to name a few.
PITTSBURGH—Douglas Cooper, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture, recently completed a mural in the lobby of the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle, Washington.

The mural is composed of smaller murals, which makes viewers feel like they can actually walk into the mural. "This particular project is unique because it intricately works with the building's architecture. Each image works with the individual wall panels while maintaining continuity throughout the room. The mural is basically a series of murals so it is more complex to see the images move through the room," Cooper said.

Cooper became involved with the project after he won a King County Arts Council national competition called 4 Culture. His nephew, Gregoire Picher, and former Carnegie Mellon student Patricia Clark (A2003) assisted Cooper. Cooper and his assistants worked on the mural from April 2004 until its installation in January 2005.

The courthouse murals illustrate the local history and geography, including local attractions such as the Cascade Summit. Local traditions such as fishing, and historical figures such as the city's engineer, Reginald H. Thomson, are also depicted. The King County Courthouse is open to the public so visitors can see the mural during normal business hours.

A section of Cooper's mural in the Seattle Courthouse lobby.

Cooper is known for incorporating the stories of local residents in his murals, often relying on their personal drawings. Cooper has created murals for Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the University Center at Carnegie Mellon and the main lobby of the Philadelphia Courthouse, to name a few. In spring 2000 Cooper received a national award from the American Institute of Architects for the contribution his murals make to architecture.

The School of Architecture is one of five schools within Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts. The College of Fine Arts is a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals organized into Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music, and their associated centers and programs.

For more information on the Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture, contact 412-268-6390. For more information on the College of Fine Arts, contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765.

For more on Cooper's work see his Web site at


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