AKA: Liberty Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA; Hard Rock Cafe, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Horrocks, Pierce A., Architect (firm); Nevins, John R., Architect (firm); Pierce Aspden Horrocks (architect)

Dates: constructed 1924

2 stories, total floor area: 13,640 sq. ft.

114-116 Pike Street
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98101-2010

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Building History

According to architect, Larry Johnson, architects, John Nevins and Pierce Horrocks, collaborated on the Yancy-Donworth Building's design. A prime tenant was a pawn shop, Liberty Jewelry and Loan, that occupied it from the 1960s until 2006, when its owners were jailed for receiving stolen property.

During the land rush to build condominiums in Downtown Seattle between 2003-2008, this building was designated for demolition to make way for another, larger building. A buyer, 116 Pike Street LLC, also known as Urban Visions, purchased the building for $3,330,000 on 09/29/2006. Plans called for its demolition in 2007 to make room for a 15-story high-rise. In the process of preparing the Liberty Building for demolition, various signs were revealed, advertising such previous tenants as Jax Bargain Mart and Chuck and Peg's Spudnuts. Due to the economic slowdown that descended by early 2008, the owner chose to retain the building and announced that a Hard Rock Cafe would open in a remodeled Yancy-Donworth Building. At the time of the Seattle franchise's opening in 07/2009. the Hard Rock Hotel and Restaurant chain--headquartered in Orlando, FL--operated 124 restaurants and 9 hotel/casinos in 50 nations globally. The Hard Rock Cafe opened to the public in mid-02/2010.

Building Notes

The Liberty Building occupied a 6,990-square-foot (0.16 acre) lot. It had a taxable value of $2,797,000 in 2009. The building was constructed of masonry covered by a skin of ornamented terra cotta. Garlands are the most apparent classical ornamental detail on the building's frieze.


Many alterations have occurred to the facade of the building over the years. The Seattle Landmarks Board found in 2006 that the Yancy-Donworth Building was not historically significant because it lacked its architectural integrity.

PCAD id: 13785