AKA: Occidental Building, Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA

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

Designers: MacKay, Donald, Architect (firm); Donald MacKay (architect)

Dates: constructed 1883-1884, demolished 1889

4 stories

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Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA

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Building History

The Occidental Hotel #1 opened in 03/1865, and achieved success for the 18 years it stood. Its owner, John Collins tore the first facility down in 1883 and rebuilt the taller, more lavish Occidental Hotel #2 in 1883-1884; Collins commissioned architect Donald MacKay (b. 1846) to design his new upscale hotel in 1883. MacKay created an ornate Second Empire design, with a mansard roof lit by tall wall dormers, elaborate ornamentation highlighting projecting apartment bays, and windows with tall, thin proportions. This venture earned good returns for Collins, and it set the standard for traveler's accommodations in Seattle between 1884-1889. It perished in the Great Seattle Fire that wiped out most of Seattle's Pioneer Square commercial district.

In 1889, Edwin B. Rundlett managed the Occidental Hotel #2. Rundlett resided in rooms of the hotel at the time. (SeeR.L. Polk and Company's Seattle City Directory, 1889,p. 382.)

Building Notes

This 4-story, masonry hotel had ornate Second Empire Style details. Its walls were of brick covered in stucco. Projecting belt courses marked each floor; upper floor rooms were enlarged by oriel windows, all arched, tall and thin, proportions popular in the late 19th century. The mansard roof featured wall dormers and tall chimneys.

In 1887, the ex-Governor of the Washington Territory, Watson C. Squire, boarded at the Occidental Hotel #2.


Its proprietors enlarged the Occidental Hotel on its Mill Street (Yesler Way) facade in 1887.


The Occidental Hotel #2 burned in the giant Seattle conflagration of 06/06/1889. The Occidental Hotel #3 (later better-known as the "Seattle Hotel") replaced the second Occidental Hotel. This third hotel was torn down in 1961.

PCAD id: 8219