Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Bebb and Gould, Architects (firm); Josenhans and Allan, Architects (firm); Josenhans, Timotheus, Architect (firm); Wortman and Wilkins, Architects (firm); Norris Best Allan (architect); Charles Herbert Bebb ; Carl Freylinghausen Gould Sr. (architect); Timotheus Anton Christof Josenhans (architect); Jessie T. Wilkins Jr. (architect); Charles Noel Wortman (architect)

Dates: constructed 1902

3 stories

view all images ( of 2 shown)

818 2nd Avenue
Downtown, Seattle, WA 98104

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map
Southeast corner of Second Avenue and Marion Street

Building History

The Washington Investment Company commissioned the German-American architect Timotheus Josenhans (1853-1929) to design a $50,000 mixed-use six-story building, with retail on the first floor facing 2nd Avenue, and five office levels above. The Seattle Trust and Savings Bank bought the Marion Building in 1963 along with neighboring properties in preparation to build the Seattle Trust Court completed in 1977. A connection between the Marion Building with the Mehlhorn Building occurred at this time.

Building Notes

As the photo published by histoirans Dorpat Sherrard Lomont shows, what appears to have been a wood-frame duplex house preceded the Marion Building on this site, c. 1887. In 2013, the developer, Urban Visions, proposed erecting a 77-story building on the Marion Building's site. At 77 stories, it would become Seattle's tallest skyscraper, one story higher than developer Martin Selig's Columbia Center (1985).


As it appeared in 2012, the Marion Building was a pastiche. Originally a six-story, unreinforced brick structure, it had its street frontage modified in 1930 by the noted Seattle architectural firm of Bebb and Gould. This alteration applied granite to the surface of the front facade's first two floors, and added a retardataire Greek portico, with its fluted Doric columns placed in antis. Perhaps due to damage experienced in the 7.1-magnitude earthquake of 04/13/1949, the building's owners, Marion Realty Company, directed architects Wortman and Wilkins to demolish the top three floors in 1955. A Seattle Times story of 08/21/1955 detailed some of the alterations done: "The building will be served with a new stairway from the Marion Street side to the third floor. The elevators will be removed. A new marquee also will be constructed on that side." (See "Alterations Planned for Marion Bldg.," Seattle Times, 08/21/1955, p. 26.) This work had not been completed by 01/1956. It, along with two buildings on its south at 814 Second Avenue and 804 Second Avenue, was also renovated between 1976-1978. A historic resources inventory done for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, described the building and its alterations: "In plan the Marion Building is 108’ by 60’ with a south-facing light well and a U-shaped footprint. Storefronts and windows, while traditional in design, are not original, and the main, central entry is characterized by a contemporary vestibule. Interior floors have been connected to the neighboring building to the south to create an assembled interior. Ca. 1980 the building was remodeled for offices and a restaurant at the first floor." (See "Historic Resources Reference Documents,"Accessed 10/18/2012.)