AKA: Hilton Seattle Airport and Conference Center, Sea-Tac, WA

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

Designers: Sellen Construction Company, Incorporated (firm); Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, (SOM), Portland, OR (firm); Terry, Roland, Architect (firm); Teufel, William G., Landscape Architect (firm); John Ogden Merrill (architect); Nathaniel Alexander Owings (architect); John Henry Sellen Sr. (building contractor/civil engineer); Louis Skidmore Sr. (architect); Roland Clyde Terry (architect); William G. Teufel (landscape architect)

Dates: constructed 1961

4 stories

17620 International Boulevard
Sea-Tac, WA 98188-4001

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The Portland Office of the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill designed this airport hotel in coordination with the Seattle architect Roland Terry. Terry consulted on the interiors of the restaurants and central administration building. When built, it was “…the only Hilton property open for business north of San Francisco.” (See “Quiet, Elegant Hilton Inn Offers Luxury,” Seattle Times, 07/24/1961, p. 16.)

Building History

The Seattle Airport Hilton opened in mid-1961. A Seattle Times newspaper report noted its opening: "The new inn is managed by Max DuBeau. It has 150 comfortable guest rooms in four, two-story buildings. All rooms have radios and large-screen television sets with bedside controls, FM music, air-conditioning and direct-dial telephones. The rooms, except one, are decorated in modern furnishing. The exception is the attractive sitting room of the presidential suite that is done in Early American. All of the guest buildings are interconnected by second-floor glass-enclosed walkways. The buildings cluster around a central landscape court with a large swimming pool, children’s wading pool, shuffleboard courts and putting green. The porte-cochere entrance and large parking lot are in front of the administration building. Part of the lobby has been devoted to a glass-enclosed atrium pool, with Japanese yew and other plantings, lighted fountain and sculptures. The administration area houses full dining facilities, service shops, banquet and office areas. Northwest artists and craftsmen were commissioned to suggest, by means of design, materials, color or subject matter, their own concepts of form or idea relating to the Pacific Northwest. Western red cedar and Montana slate have been used extensively in interior areas of the administration building. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of Portland is the general contractor. Roland Terry, Seattle, architect, worked with them on the restaurant facilities and administration-building interior. William G. Teufel is the landscape architect. The general contractor, the John H. Sellen Construction Co. and all subcontractors also are from this area.” (See “Quiet, Elegant Hilton Inn Offers Luxury,” Seattle Times, 07/24/1961, p. 16.)

In 1994, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had 2,700 rooms nearby to the airport, with an occupancy rate of 72.8%. (See Harriet King, "Real Estate; Hotel construction is planned as part of growth at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport," New York Times, 05/10/1995, p. D18.) At this time, the Seattle Hilton contained 175 rooms, but was considering plans to replace it with one having 500.

Building Notes

In 2014, the Seattle Airport Hilton contained approximately 400 guest rooms. Meeting rooms could accommodate groups from 10-1,200 people. A landscaped outdoor courtyard could also be rented for weddings or other events. Tel: 206.244.4800.

PCAD id: 19241