AKA: Diller Hotel, Downtown, Seattle, WA

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

Designers: Hetherington, Clements and Company, Architects (firm); Clements (architect); James W. Hetherington (architect); Louis Leonard Mendel Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1889-1890

4 stories

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1216 1st Avenue
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98101

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The Hotel Diller occupied the southeast corner, Front Street (1st Avenue) and University Street.


In 2016, the Hotel Diller was one of two hotels built during the 1880s or 1890s still extent on 1st Avenue, an area once filled with lodging for businessmen, workers and tourists. The Hotel Diller was a very early hotel example, having been completed just after the Great Seattle Fire of 06/06/1889. The other building was the Colonnade Hotel erected later in 1898. (See City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods, "Seattle Historic Sites Summary for 1216 1st AVE / Parcel ID 1974700170," accessed 10/25/2016.)

Building History

Ohio-born businessman Leonard Diller (1839-1901) migrated to Oregon City, OR, during the Civil War, in 1864, becoming a successful merchant there. He relocated to Tacoma, WA, in 1873, and then to Seattle three years later. He purchased a market and two hotels by the early 1880s. The Great Seattle Fire of 06/06/1889 destroyed his Brunswick Hotel, so he made plans for a new one, the Hotel Diller, to replace it. Architect Louis L. Mendel (1867-1940) was the designer of this building within the Hetherington, Clements and Company Office.

In 1901, Leonard Diller remained the President of the Hotel Diller and W.G. Potts, the Manager. (See R.L. Polk and Company’s Seattle City Directory, 1901, p. 613.)

In 1926, the Casey Hotel Company, Incorporated, owned the Hotel Diller. In that year, it was managed by H.A. Kalb. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1926, p. 767.)

Building Notes

In 1906, the architect James J. Donnellan (1861-1924) resided at the Hotel Diller. (See Polk Seattle Directory Company's Seattle City Directory, 1906, p. 408.)

PCAD id: 3657