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

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1904, demolished 1949

view all images ( of 2 shown)

University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Located on the University of Washington Campus.


Many college campuses--large and small--were equipped in the 19th and 20th centuries with chimes towers. In some cases, chimes marked the end or beginning of class periods, and some of these towers also became stocked with carillons to produce musical presentations. The chimes in this tower were replaced by those installed in the new Gothic Revival Administration Building built in 1949.

Building History

This building was originally a water tower completed in 1904, but was remodled to become a bell-tower in 1914. (See University of Washington, “Observatory and Chimes Tower, University of Washington, between 1914 and 1949,” accessed 09/25/2020.) According to a UW Physical Plant document produced in 1977: "In 1914 the framework was enclosed and chimes installed in the belfry. It was of all wood construction and the exterior was shingled." (See University of Washington, Seattle, Facilities “History of the UW Buildings [Last Updated 1998], accessed 01/08/2009.)

The Chimes consisted of 12 bells, donated by Col. A.J. Blethen. The Chimes Tower was destroyed by a fire in 1949. It was located north-east of the Observatory." (See Paul Ivester, Index of Old Building Record Plans with Historical Summaries, [Seattle: University of Washington, Physical Plant Department, 1977], n.p.)

Building Notes

The UW Physical Plant Department gave the Chimes Tower the administrative number "Building 003."


The building was destroyed by a fire in 1949.

PCAD id: 9467