AKA: Puget Power Building, Downtown, Bellevue, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Cawdrey and Vemo, Incorporated, General Contractors (firm); Harmon, Pray and Detrich, Architects and Engineers (firm); James William Cawdrey (building contractor); Robert Carl Detrich (architect); Craig A. Harmon (architect); Roland Gilbert Pray Sr. (architect); Bjarne Vemo (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1955-1956, demolished 2006

4 stories

10608 NE 4th Street
West Bellevue, Bellevue, WA 98004

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Building History

The Seattle archtiectural firm of Harmon, Pray and Detrich, produced many designs for large-scale corporate and governmental buildings during the 1950s and 1960s. Its Puget Power Building stood four stories tall, the highest building on the city's skyline in the 1950s, this, according to the preservation group, DOCOMOMOWeWa. (See "Puget Power Building Bellevue,"accessed 09/17/2007) Harmon, Pray and Detrich worked with the building contractor, Cawdrey and Vemo on its construction.

The Puget Power Building in Bellevue was one of the area's most technologically advanced office buildings. According to the Seattle Times: "The Puget Sound Power & Light Company office building at Bellevue is the first in this area to use a central control panel for supervision of all mechanical systems." (See "Bellevue Office Building," Seattle Times Pacific Northwest Living, 02/17/1957, p. 9.)It contained an auditorium that could hold 200 people.

In 11/2008, voters in Skagit County, eastern Jefferson County and Whidbey Island voted on a measure that would have purchased Puget Sound energy facilities lying within those districts; this vote was to determine if residents in those areas would retain local control over utilities or whether they would pass on to Canadian and Australian ownership.

Building Notes

Puget Sound Power and Light and the Washington Energy Company merged to form Puget Sound Energy (PSE) in 1997. On 09/13/2003, DOCOMOMO WeWA organized a tour of Modern buildings in Bellevue; the Puget Power Building was one of them. A brochure prepared for the tour described the building: "The Puget Power Building, rectangular in plan, is constructed of reinforced concrete with an aluminum window system with yellow spandrel panels. The east and west facades of the building are clad in Wilkeson sandstone highlighted by strips of vertical glass block. At the rear of the building is an attached one-story auditorium, connected to the main building by a glassed in lobby area." (See "Bellevue Modernism Tour, Over the Bridge to Gracious Living," DOCOMOMO WeWA, 09/13/2003, p. 4.) Glass block was used on either end of the building to illuminate stairwells.

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation included it on its "2005 Most Endangered Properties List."


Bellevue's Puget Power Building was destroyed 02-03/2006 to make way for two condominium towers, Bellevue Towers One and Two, built during the Downtown Bellevue, WA, condo construction orgy of 2006-2008. Bellevue Towers occupied a large parcel at the northeast corner of NE 4th Street and 106th Avenue NE.

PCAD id: 10256