AKA: City of Seattle, Municipal Building #1, Downtown, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings

Designers: Wilson and Loveless, Architects (firm); Arthur Lamont Loveless (architect); Clayton D. Wilson (architect)

Dates: constructed 1908-1909

6 stories, total floor area: 114,395 sq. ft.

view all images ( of 2 shown)

400 Yesler Way
Seattle, WA 98104-2628

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map

Building History

Many city offices moved into this building from the previous City Hall, often called the "Katzenjammer Castle" in 1909.

Because of the rapid growth of the city during the 1900-1915, era, the city had to rent additional office space for employees in other buildings. By 1915-1916, the city's cost to rent office space had doubled over the previous year. (See "Rentals of City Office Doubles for Coming Year," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 07/29/1915, p. 2.)

Building Notes

Occupying a a triangular, 16,266-square-foot, .37-acre parcel, the City of Seattle, Public Safety Building echoed the lot's form. This triangular shape is often referred to as a "flatiron" shape, named for D.H. Burnham's famous Flatiron Building in New York, NY, (1902). Seattle's Times Square Building (1916) was another example of this building type.

An explosion of a gas stove in the jail kitchen shook the building on 05/31/1915. causing occupants to flee into the street. The blast occurred on the building's top floor, and was the second within the past eight months in the building. (See "City Hall Rocks When Gas Range Explodes," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, vol. LXVIII, no. 17, 06/01/1915, p. 1.)


Seattle's Public Safety Building was renovated in 1977-1978.