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Old Posted Sep 5, 2022, 3:14 AM
plinko's Avatar
plinko plinko is offline
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SEATTLE | Seattle Municipal Tower | 722 FT / 220 M | 62 FLOORS | 1990

Originally built on the tail end of a huge boom in Seattle, the Seattle Municipal Tower (then AT&T Gateway and later Keybank) is decidedly unique. Designed by longtime local architect Fred Basetti, whom also graced the skyline with the Jackson Federal Building, the tower sits on a severely sloped site, wedged between I-5 and the Columbia Center. Basetti was known for somewhat brutal, but curiously modern buildings and this tower proves to be a bit of a mixed bag of stylistic forms.

The serrated form, derivated from projecting bay windows, caps each shorter end of the building, but with one side fully projecting, and one side with a blank reveal that goes all the way up to the crown. The projecting side is capped with a stepped 'shoulder'. The long sides of the tower are more skyscraper traditional in form, with X-bracing visible behind the distinctive blue glass, but flanked on each end with rounded clad mega-columns.

The entire tower shaft is then sliced off with an offset rounded form, which leaves the dark red/brown granite behind for a memorable blue glazed crown. I cannot quite place the roof form. Somewhere between a Viking longhouse and maybe a nod to the local mountain peaks. Only Fred probably knew the answer (he was part Norwegian).

At 722 ft, this tower was the 4th tallest in the City (still 5th) when it was completed in 1990. The City of Seattle purchased the building in 1996 and substantially renovated it into a building housing many of their municipal services.

When I first came across this tower listed as under construction in the 1989 World Almanac (along with the other major towers in Seattle being built at the time), I set about trying to find pictures. I recall this building being extraordinarily hard to gauge in terms of form given the media available at the time. When I finally visited the city for the first time in 1999, I finally was able to ascertain what I had been looking at in lousy magazine photos of the Seattle skyline.

I've taken numerous pictures of this tower in the years since. I thought I would share of few of this very interesting, very unique tower:


SMT001 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT002 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT003 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT004 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT005 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT006 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT007 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT008 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT009 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT010 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT011 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT012 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT013 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT014 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT015 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT016 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT017 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT018 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr


SMT019 by Michael Stroh, on Flickr
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Old Posted Jan 20, 2023, 10:10 AM
david_spincasino david_spincasino is offline
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thats amazing !!!!!!!!!!!
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