COMMUNITY TOURS

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COMMUNITY TOURS

Community tour start times and locations vary. Tours are approximately two hours in length. Advance registration is strongly encouraged; walk-ups are limited to space available. Private tours are also available, email info@seattlearchitecture.org for more information.

Tours are $18 in advance/$12 for members/$25 cash, day of event. Online registration is handled through Bold Type Tickets. For more information see our Tours FAQ page.

(New Tour!) Federal Avenue: Understated Elegance on the Park

The Olmsted Brothers’ visionary park plan led Seattle’s prominent leaders and their renowned architects to design homes nestled against blossoming Volunteer Park on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. The homes reflect the changing tastes, lifestyles, and times just before and after World War I. Stroll Federal Avenue and learn about these stately monuments to early 20th Century prosperity. On this tour you’ll see a variety of classic architectural styles from notable architects of the day, including Carl F. Gould, Bebb & Mendel, & Joseph S. Cote’ and Andrew Willatsen.

Photo: Evan Chakroff

This tour begins at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral

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(New Tour!) Madrona: Streetcar Suburb to Neighborhood of Spirited Commerce and Diversity

Madrona is a neighborhood of transitions. What started as a beachside playground for Seattleites became one of its first “streetcar suburbs.” Its hilltop geography lent itself to grand, lake-view Queen Anne, Dutch Colonial, and Tudor residences. Although gentrification and redlining threatened the neighborhood culture, strong organizations, involved churches, and a sense of community pulled Madrona through tense times. See today’s Madrona through the lens of its fascinating history. On this tour you’ll discover Queen Anne, Colonial and Craftsman style homes designed by notable architects including Ellsworth Storey and Joseph Coté.

Photo: Evan Chakroff

This tour begins at the Madrona Playfield & Shelter House on the corner of 34th & Spring

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Ballard’s Maritime Metamorphosis: Fishing Village to Urban Hub

Ballard Library
From salmon fishing to oysters on the half-shell; from lumber barons to celebrity chefs; and from beer halls to craft cocktails, Ballard has evolved from a gritty Scandinavian town of fishermen and mill workers to a vibrant urban village of upscale restaurants, music venues, and residential developments. Learn how the emergence of the automobile and shifting tastes toward wider boulevards saved old-town Ballard Avenue — a snapshot of small-town commercial architecture from the 1890s through the 1940s. See Ballard move further into the future, as you learn about Ballard’s master plan and view how the plan is playing out in modern civic and private development.

This tour begins at the Bell Tower Monument on the northeast corner of Ballard Avenue NW and 22nd Avenue NW in the Ballard Avenue Landmark District.


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South Lake Union Redux: Tech, and more Tech

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This tour examines key ingredients for urban revitalization and discusses the urban design and architectural strategies at work in the vibrant, rapidly growing South Lake Union neighborhood. The tour will look at the commercial growth of the neighborhood from Amazon’s historic lease agreement to today’s downtown-like expansion of residential and hospitality development. From the Denny Triangle to the shoreline of the “Little Lake” this tour shares the history of the neighborhood, explores commercial and institutional projects illustrating design adaptation in the last 10 years, and asks participants to consider what is the right mixture for successful revitalization of an urban neighborhood. The tour includes Amazon’s SLU Campus, South Lake Union Park, UW Medicine, and the Future Google & Facebook SLU Campuses (currently under construction).

This tour begins at the Triangle Park across from Whole Foods.
Cross streets: Westlake, Denny and 9th

This tour ends at Lake Union Park.


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Mt Baker: More Than A View

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Accessible from Seattle’s downtown core, Mt. Baker is a neighborhood that provides dramatic backdrops for many outdoor activities, serene lake and mountain views and an array of domestic architectural styles. Learn more about how this vibrant community was forged and sharpen your architectural identification skills as you learn more about the architects, residents and unparalleled natural beauty that have shaped this Seattle neighborhood. Featured stops include an Ellsworth Storey home and other upscale residences.

This tour begins at the Mt. Baker Community Club at 2811 Mount Rainier Drive S.

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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 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.

*The UW tour is only available by request as a private tour at this time. Please email us at info@seattlearchitecture.org for more information.

Harvard Belmont District: The Rich Life on Capitol Hill

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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.

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

*The Harvard Belmont Tour is only available by request as a private tour at this time. Please email us at info@seattlearchitecture.org for more information.

Queen Anne: Evolution of an Urban Neighborhood

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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.

*The Queen Anne Tour is only available by request as a private tour at this time. Please email us at info@seattlearchitecture.org for more information.

Pike/Pine: Change on an Urban Scale

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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.

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

*The Pike/ Pine Tour is only available by request as a private tour at this time. Please email us at info@seattlearchitecture.org for more information.

ADDRESS

Center for Architecture and Design
1010 Western Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206.667.9184

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3 weeks ago
CFAD Play Lab Tickets | Center for Architecture & Design | Seattle, WA | Sat, Mar 30 from 1pm - 4pm | Seattle Architecture

Drop in for CFAD Play Lab anytime today between 1:00 - 4:00 PM at the Center for Architecture & Design

This opportunity is free and perfect for ages 5-9 with aid of a chaperone.

Explore the newest AIA exhibit at the Center for Architecture and Design: Because it Rains, and build your own space! Rain is a big part of living in the Pacific Northwest. When it rains we  ... See more

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3 weeks ago
Norma Merrick Sklarek

Fellow, American Institute of Architects, 1980, first African American woman- Norma Merrick Sklarek.

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3 weeks ago
UW Cherry Blossom Cam

SAF tour guests are treated to a beautiful quad full of blooms today! Check out this live cam, or even better visit this weekend!

The iconic UW Quad features gothic architecture, brick pathways and green lawns and is surrounded by six buildings that house the arts, humanities and social...

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3 weeks ago
Diamonds & Gold Tour: The Art Deco Skyscraper Northwest Style Tickets | Fairmont Olympic Hotel Lobby | Seattle, WA | Sat, Mar 30 from 10am - 12pm | Seattle Architecture

Join our Art Deco tour tomorrow and see how Northwest imagery was incorporated into the design of these architectural gems.

Featured stops Exchange Building, the Seattle Tower and Washington ... See more

Take a trip back in time to the Roaring 20s. Following the horrors of World War I, architects began fusing modern structural advances with beautiful, lively, organic designs to create the style known ... See more

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3 weeks ago
Nonconformity - The Style of Eileen Gray

"Many Art Deco and Bauhaus architects and designers found inspiration in Gray's unique style." Designer, architect, and artist Eileen Gray created and lived by her own accord.

Born August 9, 1878, Eileen Gray is considered one of the most influential designers of modern times. Overlooked for years, today she rules. Why?

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3 weeks ago
Overlooked No More: Julia Morgan, Pioneering Female Architect

Julia Morgan- from craftsman to castles. She was the first woman to earn an architect’s license in California and a prolific designer of hundreds of buildings.

Morgan, who was the first woman to earn an architect’s license in California, was a prolific designer of hundreds of buildings, namely the Hearst Castle at San Simeon.

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3 weeks ago
Marion Mahony Griffin

To end Women's History Month with a bang, we'll take the rest of the week to focus on groundbreaking women in architecture. First up- Marion Mahoney Griffin and her impact on American Prairie School.

Reyner Banham once described Marion Mahony Griffin (1871–1961) as “America’s first woman architect who needed no apology in a world of men.”

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3 weeks ago
Diamonds & Gold Tour: The Art Deco Skyscraper Northwest Style Tickets | Fairmont Olympic Hotel Lobby | Seattle, WA | Sat, Mar 30 from 10am - 12pm | Seattle Architecture

Join our upcoming Art Deco tour on March 30th!
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Take a trip back in time to the Roaring 20s. Following the horrors of World War I, architects began fusing modern structural advances with beautiful, lively, organic designs to create the style known ... See more

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4 weeks ago
CFAD Play Lab Tickets | Center for Architecture & Design | Seattle, WA | Sat, Mar 23 from 1pm - 4pm | Seattle Architecture

Join us tomorrow for CFAD Play Lab at the Center for Architecture & Design

Explore the newest AIA Seattle exhibit "Because it Rains", and build your own space!

Rain is a big part of living in ... See more

Explore the newest AIA exhibit at the Center for Architecture and Design: Because it Rains, and build your own space! Rain is a big part of living in the Pacific Northwest. When it rains we  ... See more

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1 month ago
Because it Rains | AIA Seattle

Don't miss this tour of the current exhibit at the Center for Architecture & Design!

Recipient of AIA Seattle’s 2018 Emerging Professionals Travel Scholarship, Laura Bartunek Assoc. AIA explored the concept of rain as a creative catalyst within design. Rain, so often approached as ... See more

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