AKA: Saint Regis Hotel, Downtown, Seattle, WA; Hotel St. Regis, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: Milner, Warren H., Architect (firm); Pederson, Hans, Building Contractor (firm); Warren H. Milner (architect); Hans Pederson Sr. (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1908-1909

8 stories

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116 Stewart Street
Downtown, Seattle, WA

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Seattle's population greatly expanded between 1900 and 1910, fed by Klondike Gold Rush commercial prosperity and the further broadening of the local manufacturing economy. Logging and fishing became very prosperous industries at this time, creating jobs and opportunities for immigrants (particularly from Scandinavia) and increasingly transient Americans. In preparation for the 1909 Alaska-Yukon -Pacific Exposition (AYPE), investors built many hotels and apartments around Seattle, housing the hordes of tourists. some of whom decided to stay. The Archibald and the neighboring New Washington Hotel (1906-1908) were part of this wave of 1900-1910 building.

Building History

Papers of incorporation were filed with Washington's Secretary of State on 10/21/1908 for the Hotel Archibald Company of Seattle. T.E. Flint, D.S. Gamble and J.E. Savage were listed as officers in the new endeavor. (See "New Corporations," Seattle Times, 10/21/1908, p.19.) Silas Archibald owned the majority of stock and put $125,000 into the construction of his eponymous hotel. Standing 8 stories tall and containing 144 rooms, the Hotel Archibald had a U-shaped floor plan, with a south-facing light court in the center, both to provide natural light into rooms and to facilitate evacution in case of fire.

Hotel fires were both frequent and highly publicized, causing periodic public outcries and resultant changes in local building codes. New hotels went to great lengths to reassure potential guests of their fire prevention measures, the Archibald being no exception. The day before its opening on 05/17/1909, an article introducing the hotel in the Seattle Times stated: "Appliances for the protection of guests in case of fire, perhaps, are the most numerous of any similar hotel building in the city. One each floor are two fire doors held back by tiny wires that at certain temperatures melt and allow the doors to close, thus preventing draughts that might increase the force of the flames. In addition to this are four sets of stair fire-escapes at the ends of halls, so that it in case of a fire any way a guest will run in the halls will reach a fire-escape." (See "Hotel Archibald, Which Will Be Opened Monday," Seattle Times, 05/16/1909, p. 7.)

The U-shaped plan became common for large-scale hotels and apartment buildings during the early 20th century. To further protect against fire, the building contained a concrete-reinforced steel frame; steel framing for large buildings became commonplace on the Pacific Coast after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake of 04/18/1906 revealed the seismic dangers of load-bearing masonry construction. Archibald retained the Seattle architect Warren Milner (1865-1949), who collaborated with the building contractor, Hans Pederson, to erect the building. The Archibald became known as the Saint Regis, just before World War I, and after 2005 became used for low-income housing.

Building Notes


The Archibald has undergone significant alteration over time. The Plymouth Housing Group, specialists in providing low-income housing, renovated the hotel in 2004-2005.

PCAD id: 19569