AKA: City Light Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA; Expeditors International Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Bindon, Wright and Partners, Architects (firm); Decker, Christenson and Kitchin, Architects and Engineers (firm); Morrison, Earl W., Architect (firm); Weinstein / Copeland Architects (firm); Leonard William Somerville Bindon (architect); Waldo Barrickman Christenson (architect); Lee G. Copeland (architect); Ralf Edward Decker (architect); Charles E. Kitchin Sr. (civil engineer); Earl Wilson Morrison (architect); Edward Weinstein (architect); John LeBaron Wright (architect)

Dates: constructed 1935

2 stories

Madison Street and 3rd Avenue
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98154

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The economic stagnation of the Depression curtailed plans for a twenty-six-story skyscraper to be built on this site. Instead, only two floors were completed by 1935. Two successive building campaigns, one in 1957-1958 and one in 1997, added seven and four more stories, respectively. Extensive remodelings of the external skins occurred during both renovations.

Building History

This publicly-owned utility formed during the Progressive Era, commissioned the firms of Bindon, Wright and Partners, Archtects, and Decker, Christenson and Kitchin, Architects and Engineers, to design its $3.7 million headquarters. By 02/23/1958, all of the framing had been done on the building, most of its exterior sheathing applied, and interior work had begun. Completion was set for 08/1958.

Building Notes

Fentron Industries, Incorporated, produced the alumnium and glass curtain wall system used in the Seattle City Light Headquarters. (See Fentron Industries, Incorporated ad, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 03/11/1959, p. 7.)


This 7-story building originally had an International Style aesthetic, with a cubic form and window bands syncopated by vertical aluminum strips. A white box, covered in enameled white tiles housed the building's circulation spaces. This building was later refaced beyond recognition.

PCAD id: 15764