AKA: Safeco Insurance Company, Office Building #1, University District, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses - apartment houses

Designers: Haynes, Charles Lyman, Architect (firm); Charles Lyman Haynes (architect)

Dates: constructed 1929

8 stories

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4401 Brooklyn Avenue NE
University District, Seattle, WA 98105

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The Brooklyn Building and its adjacent parking garage (to the south) stood on the southwest corner of Brooklyn Avenue and NE 45th Street.

Building History

Hawthorne Kingsbury Dent (born 10/29/1880-d. 1958) founded the General Insurance Company of America in Seattle, WA, in 1923. The firm started a subsidiary in 1953 called the "Selective Auto and Fire Insurance Company of America," or SAFECO, meant to compete with other large national insurers offering automobile and fire insurance. This brand found success, and soon thereafter the unit began writing life insurance policies; sales of life insurance began in 1957. In the 1960s, the company grew and became an active corporate lender and began to market mutual funds that it managed, such as its Syncro Growth Fund. The entire company became known as "SAFECO" before 1967; its spelling was changed from all capital letters to "Safeco" in about 2000.

Building Notes

The building was marked by a notable neon sign on its roof.

The education wing of the Safeco Insurance Company was located at 4310 Brooklyn Avenue NE in 1968. The Brooklyn Building had a street address of 4347 Brooklyn Avenue NE in 1968.


The Brooklyn Building was razed in about 1971 in order to erect the Safeco Office Building #2. The Brooklyn Building replaced the University Baptist Church #1 on the southwest corner of Brooklyn Avenue NE and NE 45th Street.

PCAD id: 17503