AKA: Yesler's Hall, Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - assembly halls; built works - public buildings - courthouses

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1861

2 stories

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Seattle, WA

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Building History

Seattle pioneer and lumber mill owner, Henry L. Yesler (1810-1892) built this general purpose meeting hall to replace his smaller and more crude Cook House that formerly hosted community gatherings and government business between approximately 1852-1859. According to theatre historian Eugene C. Elliott, Yesler's Hall dated to 1861 and was in use until 1870. (See Eugene C. Elliott, A History of Variety-Vaudeville in Seattle, [Seattle: University of Washington Press], 1944, p. 2 and 66.) The Washington Territorial District Court in King County used Yesler Hall after 1866 until about 1870. Yesler owned much of the land and many of the buildings in which King County did much of its administrative business until the 1880s.

Building Notes

Yesler Hall was a two-story, gable-front building located on the southwest corner of Commercial Street (which became 1st Avenue South) and Mill Street (Yesler Way). In the mid-1860s, it featured two retail spaces on the first floor, with a meeting hall above. Yesler Hall, and another space, Plummer's Hall, operated as the two prime community meeting spaces in Seattle from 1861-1866; in 1868, Yesler installed a stage in the upstairs meeting hall, creating a performance space that could seat about 40. This stage was used for only two years, 1868-1870. To confuse matters, however, another building erected by Yesler, known as "Yesler's Pavilion," built in 1865, took the name "Yesler's Hall" in popular parlance after 1875.


Yesler's Hall was razed probably in the 1870s.

PCAD id: 14288