AKA: 2001 6th Avenue Office Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA

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

Designers: Hoffman Construction Company (firm); Lee Hawley Hoffman (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1980-1981

34 stories, total floor area: 385,480 sq. ft.

2001 6th Avenue
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98121

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The Westin Hotels and Resorts, formerly the Western International Hotels Company, had its origins in a small group of hotels in WA State, but grew quickly following World War II internationally. A key figure in Westin's growth during the 1950s-1970s was Edward E. Carlson, (1911-1990), a prominent businessman in Seattle, WA, and an original developer of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. Following a merger with United Airlines in 1970, Carlson moved to head the new airline conglomerate in Chicago, IL, but Westin maintained its headquarters in Seattle through the 1980s. United sold Westin in 1988 to Osaka, Japan-based Aoki Corporation, which, in turn, sold the chain to the real estate and hotel holding company firm, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Incorporated, (based in White Plains, NY) and the investment firm, Goldman Sachs in 1994. The original developers of the Westin Building included Hadley Properties, Incorporated, Clise Agency, Incorporated, and Westin. The hotel firm announced on 08/07/1979 that it would occupy 9 floors in the building on a 15-year lease; the new space would allow it to consolidate office operations previously located on the top floor of the Olympic Hotel and in five other scattered locations throughout Seattle. At the time, Westin employed about 275 people in its headquarters. This ownership group commissioned the general contractors, Hoffman Construction, of Portland, OR, to erect the building. (See "Western International Hotels to keep home in Seattle," Seattle Times, 08/08/1979, p. 28.) Hoffman topped the Westin Building out in 12/1980, with occupancy occurring the following spring. (See "Guard spending $1.57 million at Field," Seattle Times, 12/14/1980, p. 56.) A real estate partnership, Sixth and Virginia Properties, later owned the building and a 433-car parking garage (attached by a skybridge) built at the same time. By the 2000s, this building, originally named for the Westin Hotel chain that occupied a majority of the office building's space, had become a major colocation center (or "internet hotel"), a rental facility where internet telecommunications hardware could be stored and maintained centrally and where moderate-sized businesses could rent internet bandwidth. Instead of mid-sized and smaller companies paying their own IT staffs to maintain basic network operations, an internet hotel, could offer maintenance of these services and add additional bandwidth, if needed. By the late 2000s, computer facilities in the Westin Building served as a critical internet nexus point for AK and the Western U.S.

The building contained 385,480 square feet on 34 floors. Costing $30 million to construct, the Westin Building had a steel frame clad in pre-cast concrete panels sheathed in Carrara marble. Glass was originally tinted bronze.

PCAD id: 17225