AKA: City of Seattle, Center Arena, Seattle Center, Seattle, WA; City of Seattle, Mercer Arena, Seattle Center, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - assembly halls; built works - recreation areas and structures - sports complexes

Designers: Schack, Young and Myers, Architects and Engineers (firm); David John Myers (architect); James Hansen Schack Sr. (architect); Arrigo Mazzucato Young (civil engineer/mechanical engineer)

Dates: constructed 1927, demolished 2017

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363 Mercer Street
Seattle Center, Seattle , WA 98109

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Building History

The ice arena's name was changed following the Seattle Century 21 Exposition to the "Seattle Center Arena" after the close of the fair in 1962.

The Seattle Center Arena was renamed "Mercer Arena" in 1995 to differentiate it from the Key Arena, then having been recently remodeled, also located at the Seattle Center complex.

The assembly hall remained vacant from 2003 until its demolition in 2017.

Building Notes

Historian of the Seattle Ice Arena, Kurt E. Armbruster, recalled of the Ice Arena's interior: "As I remember it, the interior and exterior of the Civic Ice Arena were a pinkish beige, the girders were brown, the ceiling wood planks stained dark on the outer edges and light on the inner." (See email from Kurt Armbruster to the author, 03/04/2019.)


Kurt E. Armbruster, said of the building's pipe organ added in 1941: "The Wurlitzer pipe organ came from a Salem, Ore., theater in 1941, and the organ console booth replaced the old band shell which hung out from the south wall. (MOHAI/Post-Intelligencer image 26849 shows this ca. 1931.) I skated to the organ music of Eddie Zollman, Eddie Clifford, and others many times in 1960-1961, and was sorry to see it go when the interior was finally modernized in 1963-1964, and the Ice Arena was “re-branded” as Seattle Center Arena. Some accounts say the interior was remodeled “for the fair,” but it wasn’t; only the exterior." (See email from Kurt Armbruster to the author, 03/04/2019.)

Armbruster wrote of the building just before Seattle Century 21 Exposition: "Seattle World’s Fair Commission documents at the Washington State Archives (Puget Sound Division), Bellevue, reveal that the Commission hoped to give the Ice Arena interior improvements—most importantly, an acoustical ceiling, but also new seating and other items--in time for the world’s fair in 1962, but the budget did not go that far, so they settled for a new paint scheme of alternating bands of light and darker orange between the vertical girder framework, and a 'modernized' organ booth with a plain plywood rectangle replacing the ornate 1940s front." (See email from Kurt Armbruster to the author, 03/04/2019.)


The Mercer Arena was razed in 2017 to make way for a new facility, "Seattle Opera at the Center," to serve the Seattle Opera.

PCAD id: 22750