AKA: American Bank Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - banks (buildings)

Designers: Gould, A. Warren, Architect (firm); Augustus Warren Gould (architect)

Dates: constructed 1904-1906

12 stories

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2nd Avenue and Madison Street
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98101

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The American Savings Bank and Trust company occupied property on the southeast corner of 2nd Avenue and Madison Street.

Building History

The City of Seattle's Department of Neighborhoods historical database said of the American Savings Bank and Trust Building: "This property is directly associated with the initial period (1902-1920) of downtown commercial expansion that occurred due to local economic prosperity after the Klondike Gold Rush and in tandem with explosive population growth and suburban neighborhood development. During this era, modern downtown urban scale began with the construction of the earliest steel-frame highrise buildings and the establishment of a concentration of banking enterprises and department stores along Second Avenue from Cherry Street to Pike Street. After the turn of the century, local and regional economic prosperity generated the earliest construction of tall, steel-frame and ferroconcrete office buildings at the northern edge of the commercial district along Second Avenue. The 14-story Alaska Building (1903-04), the 12-story American Savings Bank/Empire Building (1904-06, destroyed), and the not fully realized 12-story Mehlorn Building (1906-07) were constructed exhibiting elegant brick and terra cotta cladding and ornament in a design mode heavily influenced by eastern precedents, especially the Chicago School. As compared with typical masonry-bearing wall construction, steel-frame construction allowed for both greater height and greater flexibility in office layout. Thus, these modern buildings could accommodate a wider variety and number of tenants." (See City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods.gov, "Seattle Historical Sites Summary for 211 Pine Street," accessed 09/24/2021.)

In 1921, the American Savings Bank and Trust Company advertised that it had capital of $600,000, and a surplus of $100,000. Its list of Officers included: J.A. Murray, chairman of the board; J.F. Gleason, president; George B. Baker, vice-president; John K. Bush, cashier; R.B. Lutin, Secretary; A.T. Drew, assistant cashier; P.L. Kerns, assistant cashier. Directors included: Murray, Gleason, Baker, John A. Campbell, E.L. Webster, H.P. Preston, J.H. O'Neill, and H.A. Abel.

Building Notes

The building was a high-rise for the time, having approximately 12 stories.


The American Savings Bank and Trust Company Building was razed. In 2021, the Wells Fargo Center (initially built as the 1st Interstate Center) was built on this site in 1983-1984.

PCAD id: 5100