clock menu more-arrow no yes

Mapping Seattle's Tallest Building Over History

View as Map

Photo: Visitor7/Wikimedia Commons

If and when it's completed, the proposed 77-story tower at Third & Marion will become the tallest building in Seattle, replacing the 76-story Columbia Center building. That got us thinking about the ever-changing Seattle skyline and how it has evolved over time. How did we get from an era when the tallest building in town was 110-feet tall to creeping ever-closer to Seattle's first 1,000-foot-tall skyscraper? We mapped out the history of "Seattle's tallest building" in order to see where we've come from and perhaps see how high we'll go next...

Read More

1. Pioneer Building

Copy Link
600 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 624-1783
Visit Website

The Pioneer Building stands on the spot once occupied by Henry Yesler's home. The six-floor, 110-foot-tall symmetrical block held the title of Seattle's tallest building between 1892 and 1904. The overall height of the building was reduced to 92 feet following the 1949 Olympia Earthquake.

2. Alaska Building/Courtyard Marriott

Copy Link
612 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 625-1111
Visit Website

The 14-story, 203-foot Alaska Building was built in 1904 and was the first steel-frame structure of any height in the Northwest. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is now a Courtyard Marriott hotel.

3. King Street Station (SEA)

Copy Link
303 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 382-4125
Visit Website

The depot's 242-foot tower was modeled after Venice's Campanile di San Marco and helped make it the tallest building in Seattle between 1906 and 1914.

4. Smith Tower

Copy Link
506 2nd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 622-4004
Visit Website

This 38-story, 489-foot tower still has the longest reign as Seattle's tallest building, holding the title from 1914 to 1962. Originally intended as a 14-story building, it grew out of a rivalry with Tacoma's National Realty Building to be the tallest west of the Mississippi.

5. Space Needle

Copy Link
400 Broad St
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 905-2100
Visit Website

Some will say the Needle doesn't count as it's not a fully habitable building, but, come on. It's 605 feet-tall. It counts. Between 1962 and 1969, no Seattle structure was taller.

6. Safeco Plaza

Copy Link
1001 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98154

Originally known as 1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza, this 50-story, 630-foot skyscraper edged out the Space Needle by 25 feet to claim the crown between 1969 and 1985.

7. Columbia Center

Copy Link
701 5th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104

Seattle's tallest structure since 1985, the 66-story tower is also the second tallest structure on the West Coast at 932 feet-tall. If not for an FAA order, it would have been 1,005 feet tall.

8. Marion Bldg/Third & Marion Tower

Copy Link
818 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

If and when it's completed, the 77-story tower would be one floor taller than the Columbia Center. So far, it's still in the planning stages.

Loading comments...

1. Pioneer Building

600 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

The Pioneer Building stands on the spot once occupied by Henry Yesler's home. The six-floor, 110-foot-tall symmetrical block held the title of Seattle's tallest building between 1892 and 1904. The overall height of the building was reduced to 92 feet following the 1949 Olympia Earthquake.

600 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

2. Alaska Building/Courtyard Marriott

612 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

The 14-story, 203-foot Alaska Building was built in 1904 and was the first steel-frame structure of any height in the Northwest. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is now a Courtyard Marriott hotel.

612 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

3. King Street Station (SEA)

303 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

The depot's 242-foot tower was modeled after Venice's Campanile di San Marco and helped make it the tallest building in Seattle between 1906 and 1914.

303 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104

4. Smith Tower

506 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98104

This 38-story, 489-foot tower still has the longest reign as Seattle's tallest building, holding the title from 1914 to 1962. Originally intended as a 14-story building, it grew out of a rivalry with Tacoma's National Realty Building to be the tallest west of the Mississippi.

506 2nd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104

5. Space Needle

400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109

Some will say the Needle doesn't count as it's not a fully habitable building, but, come on. It's 605 feet-tall. It counts. Between 1962 and 1969, no Seattle structure was taller.

400 Broad St
Seattle, WA 98109

6. Safeco Plaza

1001 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98154

Originally known as 1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza, this 50-story, 630-foot skyscraper edged out the Space Needle by 25 feet to claim the crown between 1969 and 1985.

1001 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98154

7. Columbia Center

701 5th Ave., Seattle, WA 98104

Seattle's tallest structure since 1985, the 66-story tower is also the second tallest structure on the West Coast at 932 feet-tall. If not for an FAA order, it would have been 1,005 feet tall.

701 5th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104

8. Marion Bldg/Third & Marion Tower

818 2nd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104

If and when it's completed, the 77-story tower would be one floor taller than the Columbia Center. So far, it's still in the planning stages.

818 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104