Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: Saunders and Houghton, Architects (firm); Edwin Walker Houghton (architect); Charles Willard Saunders (architect)

Dates: constructed 1889-1889, demolished 1910

4 stories

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5th Avenue and Marion Street
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98104

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Building History

A consortium of men, including Judge Thomas Burke (1849-1925), real estate investor William Elder Bailey (born 1860) and West Seattle rail and utility magnate Thomas Ewing, commissioned the Seattle firm of Saunders and Houghton to design this early luxury hotel in Seattle, WA, built very quickly between 07/1889 and its opening on 11/11/1889.

Building Notes

This enormous, wood-frame hotel recalled contemporary Shingle Style and New England Colonial Style buildings designed by McKim, Mead and White, Peabody and Stearns and others. One of its architects, Charles Saunders grew up in MA, and was no doubt familiar with current building trends in the Boston area c. 1888. The building stood four-stories high, its asymmetrical 5th Avenue facade punctuated on either end by gambrel gables. In between stood an array of balconies, and conic towers. A wraparound, projecting, covered porch lined the first floor of overlooking 5th. U-shaped, the building occupied a terraced shelf on its hilly site between 5th, 6th Avenue, Marion Street and Columbia Street. In 1890, one of its main investors, Thomas Ewing, lived in the Rainier Hotel.


The Rainier Hotel was not known by this name in 1901. It was razed in 1910.

PCAD id: 18212