Most community tours are approximately two hours in length and begin at 10 am at various locations as specified below. Advance registration is strongly encouraged; walk-ups are limited to space available. Private tours are also available, email for more information.

Tours are $15 in advance/$10 for members/$25 cash, day of event. Online registration is handled through Brown Paper Tickets. For more information see our Tours FAQ page.

Purple and Gold: From Gothic to Modern at the UW Core

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Come see how this glorious “University of a Thousand Years” has managed through its first 150. Go back in time to bask in the rich detail of Gothic, Renaissance, and Beaux Arts architecture. Stroll through serene quadrangles, lush gardens and awe-inspiring interiors along the way. Witness some new stars as contemporary buildings change with the needs of this fine institution. Oh, and did we mention it has the most fabulous view of Mount Rainier?

This tour starts at 11:30 and lasts approximately two hours. It begins at the War Memorial Flagpole on Memorial Way NE between Parrington Hall and Kane Hall.

Surface lots can be found on the University of Washington campus. Enter the garage at 15th Ave NE and NE 42st St, or the gate house on NE 45th St and Memorial Way. Let the attendant know you are going to the Parrington Hall and they will guide you to the nearest parking area. Over 20 bus routes serve this area. Please visit the Metro King County Trip Planner for more info.


Harvard Belmont District: The Rich Life on Capitol Hill

Have your cake and gossip too as we visit Seattle’s only residential Landmark District featuring a wealth of upscale, early 20th century architecture. Harvard/Belmont is a veritable portfolio of the finest designers of the day: Charles Platt of New York and Hornblower and Marshall of Washington, D.C., as well as prominent area architects, including John Graham, Sr., Charles Bebb and Carl Gould, Kirtland Cutter, Andrew Willatsen, Arthur Loveless, Freed Anhalt, and A. H. Albertson. They provided innovative plans, a high level of craftsmanship and beautifully landscaped courtyards, which gives this neighborhood its distinctive character.

Tour begins on Capitol Hill, at the entrance to the circular driveway at the Merrill Court Townhouses, 901 Harvard Ave. East.

Returning Spring 2015

Queen Anne: The Evolution of an Urban Neighborhood

Take a trip through history in one of Seattle’s most treasured urban neighborhoods. From Queen Anne Style homes to Modern, this vibrant hilltop neighborhood has it all, and is in a constant state of evolution as new residents call this community home. On this tour you’ll visit Queen Anne’s Landmark residences, apartments and repurposed buildings. You’ll also experience expansive views, pass by quiet corners, discover hidden estates,and observe sensitive restorations.

This tour begins at West Queen Anne Elementary School (now condominiums) at 1401 5th Ave W (at Galer). Street parking is available.

Returning Spring 2015

South Lake Union: Big Ideas, Big Design

Presented in partnership with MOHAI.

South Lake Union is a dynamic neighborhood with an industrial heart serving as a hub to world class biomedical research and the home of e-commerce titan, In the last decade, it has changed from a desolate no-man’s-land to the fastest growing neighborhood in the city. While its historic buildings harken back to the industry of manufacturing, new buildings and urban planning strategies reflect an industrial present focused on the cultivation of ideas and technology. The Big Ideas, Big Design tour focuses on design elements that foster industries fueled by creativity, collaboration, and innovation. It also looks at the bold architectural ideas, past and present, that reflect the changes to the neighborhood’s character and community. Highlights of the tour include Lake Union Park,’s campus, and the University of Washington’s School of Medicine expansion.

Registration begins at Carroll’s Clock in front of MOHAI,860 Terry Ave. N.

Tour is $20 General; $15 MOHAI or SAF Members in advance/$25 day of.

Registration is through the MOHAI’s website. Please pay special attention to the date you would like to select. SAF and/or MOHAI Membership will be verified after purchase.

Returning Spring 2015

Pike/Pine: Change on an Urban Scale

Long known as the center of Seattle’s counterculture, this urban neighborhood is in the midst of a building boom, and some fear Pike/Pine’s unique character is under threat. From its beginnings as a quiet residential district to its time as Seattle’s first ‘Auto Row’ and its later role as the heart of the local LGBT community, Pike/Pine has always been defined by change. Its story is written in the buildings and streetscapes that help give the neighborhood its character. Can this character be preserved amidst all the new development? Decide for yourself as we explore the past, present, and future of one of Seattle’s most dynamic districts.This tour starts at 10:00am and lasts approximately two hours.

Tour begins on Capitol Hill, on the Seattle Central Community College Campus, outside the Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway.

Parking for this tour can be found at the Seattle Central Community College parking lots and garages. The Harvard Garage is located at 1609 Harvard Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122. Any of the #10, 11 or 49 buses departing from the Downtown area, will be able to get you right outside Seattle Central Community College.

Returning Spring 2015




Rainier Square Atrium, Third Floor 1333 Fifth Avenue, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98101-2600
Phone: 206.667.9184
Fax: 206.667.9183


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Seattle Architecture Foundation
Facebook IconMarch 3, 2015 at 5:35 pm

“Music is liquid architecture; Architecture is frozen music.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Looking forward to our panel discussion on architecture's connection to music next week! Adv tickets available here:
Photo: McCaw Hall, LMN

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