AKA: University of Washington, Seattle, Law School #2, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings

Designers: CBG Consulting Engineers (firm); Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), Architects (firm); Mahlum and Nordfors McKinley Gordon, Architects (firm); Murase Associates, Incorporated (firm); Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire, (SWMB), Incorporated, Engineers (firm); Sparling Electrical Engineering (firm); Arthur J. Barkshire (structural engineer); Douglas Brown (structural engineer); James R. Duncan (electrical engineer); Sheldon Fox (architect); Patrick Gordon (architect); A. Eugene Kohn (architect); Jon Magnusson (structural engineer); John E. Mahlum (architect); David A. McKinley Jr. (architect); Robert K. Murase (landscape architect); Vincent B. Nordfors (architect); William Pedersen (architect); John Bower Skilling (structural engineer); William D. Ward (structural engineer)

Dates: constructed 2003

total floor area: 196,000 sq. ft.

15th Avenue NE and NE 43rd Street
Seattle, WA 98195-3025

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Faculty and students generally disliked Condon Hall, the UW's second law school building completed in 1974, almost from the beginning. Its brutalist architecture and cramped spaces made it seem more like a penitentiary than a prestigious legal education space according to some. Agitatation to replace Condone built particularly after a planned second building phase never materialized; faculty and powerful alumni began to campaign for a new building in the 1980s and 1990s, one that would provide enough space and a more dignified setting on campus. (Condon was located on Campus Parkway on the UW's western periphery.) By the late 1990s, donors were being lined up, and plans were set to use land west of Denny Hall and south of the Burke Museum #1 to accommodate the new law school, to be named for the distinguished Seattle lawyer and important state benefactor, William H. Gates, Sr.

Building History

Construction on Gates Hall began in 08/2001 and concluded in Fall 2003. The University of Washington honored a generous benefactor and alumnus (B.A., 1949, J.D., 1950) William Henry Gates, Sr., (1925- ), naming this new law school building for him in 2003. Gates's son, William (Bill) Gates, Jr., (1955- ) co-founded Microsoft Corporation in 1976, and subsequently became the world's richest man. He and his father have become important philanthropists for the university and the world. The Gates Family attended a groundbreaking ceremony held on 05/04/2001 that also included UW President Richard McCormick (b. 1947, UW President 1995-2002), Governor Gary Locke (b. 1950), and Ambassador to Japan Tom Foley (1929-2013, the 57th Speaker of the US House of Representatives).

Kohn Pederson Fox, the New York architects who designed the 55-story Washington Mutual Tower (1988) in Seattle, served as Principal Architects for William H. Gates, Sr., Hall, in association with Mahlum and Nordfors McKinley Gordon, Architects of Seattle, (later known as Mahlum Architects).

Building Notes

Bill and Melinda Gates (b. 1964) donated $12 million to the building fund for William H. Gates Hall, and other private donors added $22 million to bring the total of private financing to $34 million. The State of Washington and the University of Washington issued bonds for $46 million to pay the $80 million total building cost. The State of Washington did not repay the bonds out of UW operating moneys, but rather the UW used revenue from its Downtown Seattle Metropolitan Tract land leases to pay off the debts.

A 2000 Architect's Meeting about the design of the new Condon Hall was videotaped by the UW Law School. This 54-minute meeting is available in DVD format (as well as VHS videotape), housed at the UW Gallagher Law School Library Classified Stacks KF292.W35 W35 2000.

PCAD id: 7030