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Smith Tower

Smith Tower

While pretty short compared to its more modern neighbors, Smith Tower was Seattle’s first skyscraper built in 1914. The building created quite a sensation when it was built and was one of the four tallest buildings in the world at the time. It retained that notoriety and remained the tallest building west of the Mississippi River for almost 50 years.

Today it remains one of the more attractive skyscrapers in downtown Seattle, even if it doesn’t scrape so much of the sky any more. Coated in granite and terra cotta, with interiors of Alaskan marble and Mexican onyx, the building is admired by many architecture enthusiasts. The ornately-decorated Chinese Room is a favorite for wedding receptions and other gatherings, and you can ride some of the last manually-operated brass and copper-caged elevators get to the outdoor Observation Deck. Even though downtown Seattle has grown tremendously since it was built, the Observation Deck still enjoys outstanding views of the city, mountains and waterfront.

Photo credit: jenhx on flickr