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Summary for 401 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 1989200740 / Inv # 0

Historic Name: 100 W Harrison South Tower Common Name:
Style: Modern Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Built By: Year Built: 1970

This intact New Formalist mid-rise commercial structure, known as the 100 W Harrison South Tower, is located in the Uptown neighborhood. The building was constructed as the first phase of the 100 W Harrison construction project and its twin, the north tower was constructed in 1972. Architect Chester Lindsey designed the building for developer Martin Selig and Howard S. Construction served as the construction contractor. 

Chester Lindsey (1927-2003) received his architectural training from Washington State University (then Washington State College) in 1949. A native of Yakima, Lindsey worked briefly in California before arriving in Seattle in 1951. He worked for a series of employers in the city before establishing his own firm in 1957. Lindsey’s early designs in Seattle include the Chevrolet Motors Division building (1960­–61) and the Sixth & Lenora Building (1962–63). Lindsey’s career was largely defined by commercial work, designing numerous office buildings in Seattle, and his professional relationship with developer Martin Selig (b. 1936).  In addition to the 100 W Harrison towers, Lindsey and his firm also designed for Selig the Metropolitan Park Office Building towers (1988), Fourth and Battery Building (1978), and the soaring 76-story Seafirst Tower/Columbia Center (1985). Martin Selig, arrived in Seattle after fleeing Nazi Germany with his family in 1939, founded his real estate firm in 1958. Since then, Selig’s company has developed some of the city’s largest office buildings, including the Columbia Center, which was the ninth tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1985.


Constructed in 1970, this reinforced concrete commercial building is located at the northwest corner of First Avenue W and W Harrison Street. The site slopes downward from east  to west. Although the building is considered the 100 W Harrison Street South Tower, it’s physical address is 401 First Avenue W. The building is the southern building of two matching commercial buildings, located at either end of the eastern half the block on First Avenue W between W Republican Street and W Harrison Street. Surface parking separates the two buildings. This building, designed in the New Formalist style, features a flat roof with parapet. The 5-story building with a full basement stands on a poured concrete foundation and has a square plan. A concrete skeleton comprises the exterior walls. The first story forms the buildings base and appears like a colonnade, with square openings in the concrete with slightly rounded corners. The square openings each feature a trio of large, fixed storefront windows, with the exception of the bays fronting First Avenue W and the easternmost bays on the north and south elevations which remain open and form a recessed plaza. The building’s main entrance fronts First AvenueW and is located within the plaza recessed beneath the upper stories. Entrances to the plaza are marked by curved concrete canopies, which are present at its southeast corner. The exterior of the upper stories (second through fifth floors) is highlighted by tall, vertical openings with rounded edges at the top and bottom. Curtain wall window systems are slightly recessed within the vertical openings with tinted window glazing and spandrel glass.

The building retains excellent integrity and is a good representative of a New Formalist commercial building.

Detail for 401 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 1989200740 / Inv # 0

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status:
Cladding(s): Concrete, Glass Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Unknown
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Professional Plan: Square
Structural System: Concrete - Poured No. of Stories: five
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Intact
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Major Bibliographic References
City of Seattle DCLU Microfilm Records.
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl, ed. Shaping Seattle Architecture, A Historical Guide to the Architects. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.

Photo collection for 401 1ST AVE / Parcel ID 1989200740 / Inv # 0

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Feb 27, 2018

Photo taken Jan 01, 1900
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