Seattle's Smith Tower building permit is issued on October 20, 1910.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 1/17/1999
  • Essay 727

On October 20, 1910, the City of Seattle issues a permit to build a 36-story steel frame and concrete office building at the northeast corner of 2nd Avenue and Yesler Way. It will be completed in 1914 as the Smith Tower, tallest building west of Ohio at the time. Edwin H. Gaggin and T. Walker Gaggin of Syracuse, New York, are the architects, and Lyman Cornelius Smith (1850-1910) is the owner.

It took four years to construct the building, which was dedicated on July 4, 1914. Lyman C. Smith died before the building was completed.


City of Seattle Department of Construction and Land Use, Building Permit #96518 (Dexter Horton Building, DCLU Microfilm Library). See also Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects ed. by Jeffrey Karl Ochsner (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994), xxiii. Note: This essay was corrected on September 2, 2004, in several respects (dimensions, number of floors, superlatives), in accordance with corrections provided by architectural critic John Pastier on this website: Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, "Seattle's Smith Tower -- A Snapshot History," (by John Pastier) (accessed September 2, 2004). The name of architect T. Walker Gaggin was corrected on January 28, 2006.

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