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Seattle First National Bank building is dedicated on March 28, 1969.

HistoryLink.org Essay 1197 : Printer-Friendly Format

On March 28, 1969, the Seattle First (a.k.a. Sea-First and Seafirst) National Bank dedicates its new 50-story headquarters at 1001 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle. The structure is (in 1969) the largest building in Seattle and the "tallest west of the Mississippi." Seattleites call it "the box the Space Needle came in." It is also known as the Seafirst Building and, later, 1001 4th Avenue Plaza.

Seattle First moved its headquarters to the new building, which provides 660,000 square feet of office space, from the Dexter-Horton Building on 2nd Avenue and Cherry (710 2nd Avenue). The new tower stood as a symbol of Seafirst's growth. It was Seattle's tallest building from 1969 until 1985, when the Columbia Tower bypassed it. It is 630 feet (192.03 meters) high. The architects were NBBJ (Naramore, Bain, Brady, and Johanson).

In 1982, Seafirst, "near collapse," was acquired by Bank of America. On September 30, 1982, the Seafirst Building was sold to JMB Realty of Chicago for $123.37 million. In 1986, the building was renamed 1001 4th Avenue Plaza -- while Seafirst moved into the new Columbia Center. Bank of America later retired the Seafirst name.

Sources:
Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 267; The Seattle Times, September 30, 1983, p. 1; Ibid., May 12, 1986, p. D-7; Shelby Scates, Firstbank: The Story of the Seattle First National Bank (Seattle: North Pacific Bank Note Co., 1970); "1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza," (www.skyscrapers.com).
Note: This essay was revised on May 15, 2001, and corrected on November 20, 2005.


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Architectural rendering of the Seattle First National Bank Building (NBBJ, 1969)
Postcard


SeaFirst Tower (NBBJ, 1969), October 2001
HistoryLink.org Photo by Priscilla Long


 
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