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Lakeside School Has a Tradition Worth Its Weight in Bricks

courtesy of mutual materials- matt johnson (3)

Courtesy of Mutual Materials

Since 1979, graduating students from the Lakeside School in Seattle have had their names and messages immortalized in a brick wall. It’s a senior rite of passage and time-honored tradition.

Each year, students have the opportunity to carve a brick that is subsequently fired and installed inside the halls of the Paul G. Allen Athletics Center.

Although first positioned in a field house that would later be demolished, the early bricks were removed and reset into the newer athletic center where the legacy continues to grow every year.

The bricks are manufactured by Mutual Materials of Bellevue. Architect and senior brick alumni Bill Holt and mason DeWayne Higbee, along with countless others, say the project is a labor of love.

The school and Mutual Materials even managed to keep the project going through the pandemic. The process begins in early spring. Students create a class logo alongside their senior advisors.

Mutual Materials trucks in green bricks from Spokane. Once carved the bricks are hauled back to Spokane to be fired. Finally, Mutual Materials redelivers them to the school for installation by Higbee. The personalized bricks are placed next to the class logo — a testament to that specific class experience.

“It’s so cool to see kids come back to school and go look up their bricks or look for a relative or somebody they knew,” Holt, whose class started the senior brick idea in the 1970s, said. “To see alums visiting their bricks really touches my heart.”