Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Graham, John and Company, Architects and Engineers (firm); John Graham Sr. (architect/engineer)

Dates: constructed 1922-1924

15 stories, total floor area: 331,003 sq. ft.

view all images ( of 5 shown)

710 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104-1742

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map
Northeast corner of Second Avenue and Cherry Street;


The Dexter Horton Building was erected in two phases during the period 1922 and 1924. The first section was erected facing 3rd Avenue, and served as a temporary home for the Dexter Horton National Bank for about a year between approximately 10/1923 and 08/1924. The New York Block, previously called by some as the "Dexter Horton Bank Building," was then demolished (beginning c. 10/1923) to make room for the second building phase, to be completed by about 08/1924. The bank then moved back down to 2nd Avenue when the second phase was completed. Since its completion, the Dexter Horton Building has served as office space for many important businesses and professional firms in Seattle. John Graham, Sr., was its architect.

Building History

Banker Dexter Horton's daughter, Caroline Eliza Horton (born 02/07/1878 in Seattle, WA-d. 04/14/1950 in Seattle, WA), erected this large office building with her cousin, Charles Edgar Horton (born 10/17/1936 in Shabbona, IL-d. 05/31/1936 in Seahurst, WA). (Charles E. Horton was Dexter's grandnephew, who inherited $10,000 from Dexter at his death in 1904. He also was involved in governing the Dexter Horton Estate. See, Source Citation Washington, King County, Probate Records; Author: Washington. Superior Court (King County); Probate Place: King, Washington, accessed 12/07/2023.) They named it in honor of Dexter Horton (1825-1904), who established a reputation as a fair and honest businessman in early Seattle, WA, and began the city's first bank in 1870. The 1923 building was built on property owned by her father, where his New York Building (1892) had stood on the northeast corner of 2nd Avenue and Cherry Street. To also make way for the Dexter Horton Building, that stretched from 2nd to 3rd Avenues on the north side of Cherry Street, another building, the Occidental Hotel #4 (northwest corner of Cherry and 3rd), was also torn down. In total, the huge Dexter Horton Building took up the south half of the block bounded by 2nd Avenue, Cherry Street, 3rd Avenue and Columbia Street.

The Dexter Horton Building was built in two phases. A block that fronted 3rd Avenue was completed first in about 10/1923, while a second section on 2nd Avenue was to be completed ten months later, by about 08/1924. The bank moved its headquarters from its old home in the New York Building to the 3rd Avenue section first, and then planned to move back to 2nd Avenue when that part of the building was completed. A Seattle Daily Times article of 10/08/1923 outlined the process: "Within the next two weeks or less the Dexter Horton National Bank will be occupying its temporary location on Third Avenue at Cherry Street in the new unit of the Dexter Horton Building. The next few days will see the beginning of the task of razing one Seattle's most famous land marks--the New York Building. Soon thereafter, the Second Avenue unit of the Dexter Horton Building will be rising to its 15-story height and providing a permanent home for the Dexter Horton National Bank, affording the oldest bank in Western Washington one of the finest banking homes in the country. It is estimated by C.F. Horton, manager of the Dexter Horton estate, that not more than ten months will be necessary for the bank to occupy this Third Avenue location, for work on the Second Avenue unit of the Dexter Horton Building is to be pushed with even greater speed than that which marked the construction of the first unit now receiving its tenants. A month ago occupants of the New York Building were notified that the demolition of that structure would soon begin. The great majority were taken care of in larger and more convenient quarters in the Dexter Horton Building unit now being completed. When the Second Avenue init is added the Dexter Horton Building, aside from the home of the bank, will provide 1,000 office rooms convenient to the downtown financial district, to the City-County Building, to the railway terminals, and other features of the lower business district. 'It is fortunate both for ourselves and our patrons that we need move so short a distance while our permanent home is being erected,' said W.H. Parsons, vice president of the Dexter Horton National Bank. It is only a few steps to our new location and there we are arranging every convenience for our bank staff and our patrons, that business may be expeditiously transacted. At the same time, we ask the full cooperation and indulgence of our customers, should the exigencies of moving or the occupancy of temporary quarters occasion the slightest inconvenience.'"(See "Bank Starts To Move," Seattle Daily Times, 10/08/1923, p. 13.)

The Horton Family commissioned the Seattle architecture firm of John Graham and Company to design this modern and prestigious office block; in the 1920s-1930s, it was one of the most prestigious business addresses in Downtown Seattle. Graham liked his results so much that he moved his offices there in 10/1923. For an architect, moving into a successful building of one's own design was the best form of advertising.

The Washington, DC, Carlyle Group, and Goodman Real Estate of Seattle bought the Dexter Horton Building from the City of Seattle in 2000 for $46 million. Chicago-based LaSalle Investment Management purchased the property for Napi REIT Incorporated, a subsidiary of the insurance company, Prudential UK, for $81 million in 2006. It was again for sale in 02/2013. The Portland, OR, investment firm, Gerding Edlen,acquired the building in early 03/2013, for $76.6 million, $231 per square foot. At this time, the Dexter Horton Block was over 90% occupied. According to report in the Puget Sound Business Journal, Gerding Edlen, which focused on renovation of historic properties, sought to update the building to attract new tenants: "The goal of the project is to make the building attractive to creative companies that are driving the commercial real estate market in Seattle." (See Marc Stiles, "Gerding Edlen enters Seattle office market with acquisition of Dexter Horton Building,"Accessed 04/05/2013.)

Gerding Edlen sold the property two years later, in 11/2015, for about $124.4 million to Great Eagle Holdings of Hong Kong. (See Daily Journal of, "Dexter Horton price up $50M since 2013," published 11/10/2015, accessed 09/04/2018.)

King County purchased the building at a cut-rate price in 06/2024. According to the King County Assessor, the Dexter Horton Building's taxable value fell from a high of $132,495,000 in 2020-2021 to $96,785,000 in 2023-2024. (See King County, Department of, "Parcel Data for Parcel #093900-0260," accessed 06/11/2024.)

Building Notes

The Dexter Horton Building was long considered one of the best, most prestigious office buildings in Seattle's central business district. Light wells broke the office block in three places, allowing daylight and natural ventilation to reach most offices. In a general way, the Dexter Horton Building resembled, on a smaller scale, Albert Kahn's General Motors Building in Detroit, MI, (1922), completed a year earlier. Architect Graham had worked with Kahn in Detroit during the 1910s on commissions for the Ford Motor Company, and was likely to have known the new GM headquarters. While the GM Building had larger spaces set aside for light courts, the overall plans and elevations of the two buildings were consistent. Each building contained multi-floor bases upon which four towers sat atop, each separated by light courts, and each possessed similarly segmented elevation compositions. The Dexter Horton Building lacked the huge scale and some of the details of the GM design; most notably, the Seattle building did not possess the GM's Tower's arches on its lower floor colonnade and the colonnade just below the roofline. Above the grand lower floor, however, each building had a similar second level demarcated above and below by belt courses, and both had similar courses emphasizing the upper floor section of each design.

At one time, an A and P Supermarket operated in the Dexter Horton Building, one of the few such businesses operating in Downtown Seattle, WA, during the 20th century. It closed at this location c. 1973.

Square footage of the Dexter Horton Building was listed as 336,371 in a 2015 article in the Daily Journal of Commerce. (See Daily Journal of, "Dexter Horton price up $50M since 2013," published 11/10/2015, accessed 09/04/2018.)

Between 1855 and 1898, the Methodist Episcopal Church #1 stood on a portion of the ground occupied by the Dexter Horton Building.


The Dexter Horton Block had $34 million worth of renovation work done from 2000-2006, managed by its owners Goodman Real Estate and the Carlyle Group.