AKA: Arctic Club Hotel, Downtown, Seattle, WA; DoubleTree Arctic Club Hotel Seattle, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Gould, A. Warren, Architect (firm); Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA) Structural + Civil Engineers (firm); Moses, James, Building Contractor (firm); Pederson, Hans, Building Contractor (firm); Scott, Candra, and Anderson, Interior Designers (firm); Turner Construction Company (firm); Weaver Architects (firm); Ross Anderson (interior designer); Stephen Day (lawyer); Augustus Warren Gould (architect); Ronald Klemencic (structural engineer); George Willis Lawton (architect); Jon Magnusson (structural engineer); James Moses (building contractor); Hans Pederson Sr. (building contractor); Candra Scott (interior designer); Henry Chandlee Turner (building contractor/civil engineer); Weaver (architect)

Dates: constructed 1916-1917

9 stories, total floor area: 104,352 sq. ft.

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700 3rd Avenue
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98104-1894

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Northeast corner of 3rd Avenue and Cherry Street. Alternate location: 306 Cherry Street.

Building History

Seattle architect Augustus Warren Gould (1872-1922) designed the nine-story, 128-foot, Arctic Building to resemble an Italian Renaissance palazzo; along with storefronts and offices, the building also housed the Arctic Club, an elite men's club, that existed from 1908 until 1971. Its 27 walrus head terra cotta elements are a highlight of the building's third floor exterior; the Northern Lights Dome Room, featuring a stained glass ceiling was one of the grandest ballrooms in Seattle. Hans Pederson (1864-1933), a Danish immigrant, served as the building contractor.

The City of Seattle sold the Arctic Building in late 06/2005 to Arctic Club Hotel LLC, a local investor group composed of Seattle architect and lawyer, Stephen Day, Spokane-based hotel developers William Lawson and Chris Ashenbrener, and Robert Brewster of Conover Bond Development LLC. (Arctic Club Hotel LLC affiliated themselves with Summit Hotels and Resorts, a chain of historic hotels in the U.S.) They seismically upgraded it in preparation for its reuse as hotel. Day worked with Weaver Architects on the renovation. The San Francisco interior designers, Candra Scott & Anderson, were commissioned to supervise interior work. It opened as the 120-room Arctic Club Hotel in 2008.

In 05/2009, however, the ownership group affliliated itself with the Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Incorporated, to rebrand the historic property as a DoubleTree Hotel. According to a press release of 05/31/2009, the "...owners of the Arctic Club Hotel, Arctic Club Master Tenant LLC, have entered into a franchise license agreement with Hilton Hotels Corporation that will satisfy current guests while also aligning the hotel with Doubletree standards." The release indicated that the 1916 Arctic Club building would fit well with Doubletree's portfolio of historic hotels in Minneapolis, Detroit and London. Its historic character was seen as a key selling point: "Untouched will be the unique historical appointments of the landmark Arctic Building—from its Alaskan marble, breathtaking Northern Lights Dome Room to its 23-walrus-head exterior molding. Also remaining will be the Hotel’s interior look and feel throughout its lobby areas and guest rooms, and the Hotel’s sustainability initiative of leadership in protecting renewable resources through recycling programs in guest and employee areas." (See Businesswire.com, "Arctic Club Hotel in Downtown Seattle to Become a DoubleTree," 05/31/2009, accessed 03/06/2016.)

Building Notes

In addition to the Arctic Club, the building also accommodated the Engineers Club in 1948.

The Arctic Club Building #2 has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, level of significance: National. Declared a City of Seattle Historic Landmark on 12/17/1993.

In 2016, the Arctic Building contained 104,352 gross square feet, 83,964 net. It occupied a 14,280-square-foot (0.33-acre) site.


The Arctic Building #2 was damaged in the Earthquake of 1949.

In 2005-2008, the Arctic Club #2 underwent a $117 million renovation to become a 120-room hotel and condominium building; Weaver Architects acted as designer, Turner Construction, the general contractor, and Magnusson Klemencic Associates, the engineers on the project.

Writer David B. Williams has detailed the restoration of the 27 terra cotta walruses located on the building's exterior. He stated in 2017: "As so often happens with infamous beasts, the walruses are obscured by murky layers of misinformation. Rumor one: The tusks were made of ivory or marble. The reality: The original walruses consisted of two parts, all made of terra cotta: a head and two tusks held in place by steel rods inserted into a bonding compound. Rumor two: An earthquake in 1949 rattled the heads so vigorously that tusks fell out. The reality: No walruses lost any teeth after the quake, but all of the tusks were replaced in 1982. Unfortunately, the grout used by the installers to hold the newly molded urethane tusks in place expanded when wet, which eventually cracked the heads. In 1997, 13 of the original 27 heads had to be replaced. All of the 1982 tusks remained." (See David B. Williams, Seattle Walks: Discovering History and Nature in the City, [Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017], p. 69-70.)

Seattle Historic Landmark (1993-12-17): ID n/a

National Register of Historic Places (1978-11-28): 78002749 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

King County Assessor Number: 0942000610 Department of Assessments eReal Property GIS Center parcel report GIS Center parcel viewer GIS Center iMap viewer

PCAD id: 5089