Hugh G. Goldsmith
Hugh G. Goldsmith and Associates, Inc., was founded in 1958 by Hugh G. Goldsmith when he purchased a small civil engineering company located in the historic Pioneer Square area of downtown Seattle. Goldsmith has grown from its original 5 employees to over 40 today. But the story begins much earlier than that; a story of a man with a love of land, and a passion for Land Surveying and unique vision of how to mold this passion into a successful business.
Mr. Goldsmith’s formative years were spent in South Carolina, during the Great Depression, and the early years of World War II. Towards the end of the War, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and spent two years perfecting his skills as a Radar Technician. With his love of mathematics and land, and armed with the opportunity through the GI Bill, he landed in the school of Civil Engineering at Seattle University. Hugh made Seattle his home and began his career with the Seattle engineering firm of Gellert, Griffin and Associates. In less than 10 years, he had been appointed head of the Survey Department and led the company into new territory of Subdivision Platting for Homebuilders.
From the beginning, Hugh saw the potential destiny of the company. By the late 1950’s, the Puget Sound Region was ready to grow. By 1958, the City of Seattle and King County were embarking on Comprehensive Land Use and Metropolitan Sewer plans for the expansion of urban development to the greater east side of Lake Washington. When the Owner and principal of the Gellert firm became ill, and seemed forced to close the business, Hugh, at the tender age of 32, bought the Company and fostered the Survey and Subdivision Engineering business with an Ad in the Seattle phone book, and his handful of Home Builder Clients.
(It has been anecdotally reported that the deal was made by the firm’s owner telling Hugh: "...Hugh, I cannot imagine the business in better hands, it is yours for $15,000..." whereby they shook on it and Hugh said ".. That is wonderful Mr. Gellert,...just one thing... May I borrow $15,000 ?...." Henry Gellert, though shocked, finished laughing long enough to repeat, "...As I said, the business could not be in better hands!".
By 1962, the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge was open, and suburban subdivision development began to expand throughout the I-405 Corridor. Hugh, and Skitty, (his wife of 12 years) and family, themselves, moved to the "Eastside" near Kirkland. The company continued to grow and develop its reputation as a quality civil engineering, land development consulting, and land surveying firm.
Skitty Goldsmith was a partner in the business from the beginning in 1958. During the first 20 years of the company’s life Skitty was in the background. She worked on "the books", typed contracts and letters at night, but foremost: loved and nurtured the nine children she and Hugh raised. After the first 20 years of the company’s existence, Skitty joined the day to day operations
In 1988, following the Company’s 30th Anniversary, Hugh relocated the firm from downtown Seattle to Bellevue, Washington. With Hugh’s guidance, the firm has continued through today with the same mission statement, the same land development expertise while redeveloping methods and adapting to new technology and tools of the trade.
In 2001, Hugh officially retired as President and CEO and transferred the management of Goldsmith to the Executive team whose tenure with the firm ranges from 20 to 35 years, achieving continuity and a seamless transition to the firm’s clients and the industry. Goldsmith continues to serve its clients as lead planner, civil engineer, and land surveyor for a variety of residential developments, master planned communities, golf course projects and commercial sites.
Skitty Goldsmith passed away in 2008 and Hugh followed in 2010 at the age of 83. Neither Hugh nor Skitty ever lost their zest for life and love of work and family.