Maureen R. Elenga, '07
Seattle Architecture: A Walking Guide to Downtown
By Maureen R. Elenga, '07
Seattle Architecture Foundation, 2007
Buy this book online at University Book Store
Architectural historian Maureen Elenga takes readers on a leisurely tour of downtown Seattle in this deeply informative guide, illustrated with hundreds of color photographs.
At 522 feet, the Smith Tower was the fourth tallest building in the United States upon its completion [in 1914]. It remained the tallest structure in Seattle until 1962 when the 605-foot Space Needle was built. The terra-cotta-clad steel-frame structure is clearly articulated, and allows for expansive window openings. The building rises 24 floors and steps back to a tower centered over the western elevation, which rises to 35 floors; this form was advocated in the early twentieth century by New York architect Ernest Flagg to preserve light and air at the street level. […] The building is named for New York-based firearms and typewriter magnate L.C. Smith (Smith & Wesson, Smith Corona), who did not live to see his $1 million building completed. […] In February 2007, the owners of the Smith Tower, Chicago-based Walton Street Capital, announced that they are considering converting the building to condominiums.