AKA: Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Alaska Building, Seattle, WA; Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Downtown/Pioneer Square

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: Eames and Young, Architects (firm); Saunders and Lawton, Architects (firm); James Black (building contractor); William Sylvester Eames (architect); George Willis Lawton (architect); Ernest Norling (muralist/painter); Charles Willard Saunders (architect); Thomas Crane Young (architect)

Dates: constructed 1903-1904

15 stories, total floor area: 163,984 sq. ft.

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624 2nd Avenue
Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA 98104-2204

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2nd Avenue and Cherry Street.


The prominent Saint Louis architectural firm, Eames and Young, designed this elegant, terra-cotta-clad skyscraper, the first office tower in the city to have a steel-frame skeleton. Eames and Young worked with the Seattle architectural firm of Saunders ans Lawton.

Building History

Designed by the Saint Louis, MO, architecture firm, Eames and Young, with Saunders and Lawton acting as local superintendents. The Missouri-based architects, experienced in high-rise design, were responsible for this, the first steel-frame skyscraper in Seattle, standing at 14 stories. (The King County Assessor placed the number of stories at 15 in 2010.) The Alaska Building remained the city's tallest skyscraper until surpassed by the 18-story Hoge Building in 1911.

In 1907-1908, the Scandinavian-American Bank owned the Alaska Building, and had its main offices in it. A bank advertisement in the Seattle Times of 05/03/1908, proudly featured a photo of the Alaska Building.

The Aetna Life Insurance Company of Hartford, CT, gave the Alaska Building to the City of Seattle on 09/01/1988; the City held the property for 17 years, divesting itself of it on 08/09/2005, selling it to the Alaska Building LLC development group for $8,500,000. Alaska Building LLC sold it, in turn, to the 618 Second Avenue Limited PS (a subsidiary of Seattle-based American Life, Incorporated,) on December 6, 2007 for $38.7 million and renovated to begin a new life as a Courtyard by Marriott in June 2010., for $38,700,000 on 12/06/2007; a portion of the building was sold on a tenancy partition to a partnership of 618 Second Avenue Limited PS and Golden Rainbow Freedo for $6,914,118 on 08/22/2008. The hotelier Marriott International, Incorporated, of Bethesda, MD, opened a new hotel, a Courtyards by Marriott location, in the Alaska Building in 05/2010.

Building Notes

The Alaska Building occupied a 12,960 square foot (0.30 acre) site in 2010. The building contained 163,984 square feet of space, laid out on 15 stories. In 2010, the building had an appraised value of $13,170,800. Artist Ernest Norling painted a mural in the Alaska Building. In 1942, the US Federal Works Agency (FWA) had its Seattle location in Office #550 of the Alaska Building. The Alaska Building was built on the site of several, wood-frame, one- and two-story commercial and residential buildings. These included the Wyckoff House (later the O'Brien Store at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Cherry Street) and Manca's Brothers Cafe at 207 Cherry Street.

In 1935, developer William D. Perkins operated his real estate bank at 211 Cherry Street in the Alaska Building.


The Alaska Building was renovated into a Marriott Hotel c. 2005-2006;