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

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1893-1894, demolished 1930

4 stories

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909 1st Avenue
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98104-1044

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The Rainier-Grand Hotel stood at 909-915 1st Avenue at Marion Street.

Overview

The Rainier-Grand Hotel was one of the largest of several hotels operating on 1st Avenue between the 900 and 1300 blocks in 1900. Opened in 1894, in the midst of a significant business slowdown, it prospered after the onset of the Klondike Gold Rush, post-1897, when miners poured into Seattle seeking lodging and provisions on their ways north. In 1898, the Seattle Times began running "Klondike Adlets" in its classified ads section, advertisements for surplus US Army clothes retailers, dog food sellers, maps, and other types of Alaskan outfitters. (See "Klondike Adlets," Seattle Times, 02/19/1898; p. 6.) At the turn of the century, a cluster of low- to-mid-price hotels operated in the blocks immediately surrounding the Rainier-Grand, including the Bronson House (next door), Vendome, Weed and Grand Pacific. The Rainier-Grand was probably the most expensive and reputable of the lot.

Building History

The Rainier-Grand Hotel's first manager was Delorme B. Harbaugh, who had previously managed the Hotel Rainier, owned by the prominent businessman, Judge Thomas Burke (1849-1925), on the east side of 5th Avenue between Columbia and Marion Streets. In 1900, H.B. Dunbar served as President of the Rainier-Grand Hotel Company.

This hostelry catered to middle-class-and-above business travelers and tourists. The register of new guests here was often published in the local newspapers, a mark of a hotel catering to visiting businessmen and well-heeled tourists.

Building Notes

In 09/1902, plans were being made to greatly enlarge the Rainier-Grand Hotel by building an addition on Western Avenue. This does not appear to have been built. The Seattle Times disclosed: "Another great commercial hotel is planned for Seattle, and if the arrangements which are now favorably progressing are brought to a successful termination, the structure, ten stories in height, will be erected by the Noyes estate, owning the Rainier-Grand Hotel. Wilson & White, lesses [sic] of the latter hostelry, announce that they have taken an option on the entire block on the east side of Western Avenue, between Marion and Madison Streets, for hotel purposes. The owners in the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, and the block at this time devoted to a row of commission stores, housed in a cheap corrugated iron building, two stories in height. The property fronts 240 feet on Western Avenue and has a depth of 110 feet to Post Street. The Rainier-Grand Hotel abuts on the east side of the Post Street, and by means of passages at every floor the proposed hotel could be easily made into a part of the First Avenue section. The project is for a fireproof building, ten stories in height, containing 500 rooms. The hotel will be strictly commercial in character, the Rainier-Grand proper taking care of the tourist traffic at present." (See "More Deals Will Be Put through in during the Weeks of September," Seattle Times, 09/09/1906, p. 38.)

Demolished; the United States Government, Federal Office Building #2, in Seattle, WA, was erected on its site.

PCAD id: 5542