DOWNTOWN TOURS

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DOWNTOWN TOURS

Our Downtown tours begin in various locations. Please review your confirmation email to ensure that you have the right address. Most downtown tours are approximately two hours in length, unless otherwise noted below. 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.

Diamonds & Gold: The Art Deco Skyscraper Northwest Style

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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 as Art Deco. On this tour, we’ll go back in time to visit lush lobbies and ornate commercial buildings to learn how technology, archeology and French design influences some of Seattle’s most impressive buildings. You’ll discover diamonds and gold. And you’ll see how Northwest imagery was incorporated into the Deco elegance and innovation of these architectural gems. Featured stops Exchange Building, the Seattle Tower and Washington Athletic Club.

This tour will leave from inside the Fairmont Olympic Hotel Lobby at 411 University St, Seattle, WA 98101

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Greatest Hits: Chart Toppers and Heart-Stoppers

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It’s a new riff on the city as we focus on the construction, context, and culture which shaped our skyline, from golden oldies like Kirtland Cutter’s Rainier Club to popular favorites like the Rem Koolhaas’ asymmetric, cantilevered Central Library. You’ll develop an appreciation for the social forces which shaped Seattle and our built environment. Featured stops include the Fifth & Madison Condominium/901 Fifth Avenue Plaza and Seattle City Hall.


This tour will leave from inside the Fairmont Olympic Hotel Lobby at 411 University St, Seattle, WA 98101

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Design Details: Lions, Griffins & Walruses, Oh My!

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Engineering makes a building stand up, but intricate adornments and elaborate embellishments makes one stand out. Take a walk through Seattle’s design history by taking a close look at the details that give a building its personality. Develop an appreciation for and understanding of materials from types of stone, terra cotta, bricks, and metals, and how an architect’s decisions add to the overall character of the structure. Featured stops include the Arctic Club, Cobb Building and Smith Tower.

This tour will leave from inside the Fairmont Olympic Hotel Lobby at 411 University St, Seattle, WA 98101

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Art + Architecture: Let the Streets be Your Museum!

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Experience the best of public and privately funded art. From hatch covers to fountains to sculpture, Seattle’s collection is a diverse civic resource that makes art an integral part of our daily lives. This tour will educate you about development and implementation of public art programs and their integration into architecture, interior and landscape design. Featured stops include Freeway Park and the Washington State Convention and Trade Center.

This tour will leave from inside the Fairmont Olympic Hotel Lobby at 411 University St, Seattle, WA 98101

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Pioneer Square: Wilderness to Metropolis

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The history of Seattle reads like a funky fairy tale on the brick facades of these hallowed blocks. Stand on the spot where our city fathers waded ashore to found their metropolis. Wander back and forth across the line that once separated polite society from one of America’s most notorious vice districts. Through a gold rush, a Great Fire, and too many re-births to count, Pioneer Square has remained at the heart of Seattle’s identity. And now, with a new crop of chefs, entrepreneurs, developers, and community groups all staking their claims, Pioneer Square is preparing to absorb yet another layer of Seattle’s story.

This tour starts at Cafe Umbria 320 Occidental Ave S Seattle, WA 98104.

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High Ambitions: Concrete, Steel, Glass & Egos

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Take a closer look at the buildings that define Seattle’s skyline from the Post-Modernism of the 1980s to 21st-Century Contemporary, learn about changing styles as well as emerging trends such as green architecture, the adaptive re-use of historic buildings, and the increase in high-rise condominiums downtown. Featured buildings include: U.S. Federal Courthouse, Westin Hotel, Olive 8, Seattle Sheraton Hotel, One & Two Union Square, U.S. Bank Center, IBM Plaza, Rainier Square, Safeco Plaza, Union Bank of CA and Fifth and Madison condos, and the Bank of America Tower.

This tour starts at Smith Tower 506 2nd Ave Seattle, WA 98104.

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Hidden Spaces/Public Places: Private Property + Public Amenity = Additional Development Rights

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Explore some of downtown’s hidden treasures, like public parks, plazas and open spaces. Many of these spaces are owned by private developers but are in fact places where you can enjoy beautiful landscapes and private art collections away from the hustle and bustle of city streets.

This tour starts at City Centre (NW corner of lobby at 5th Ave and Pike St) 1420 5th Ave Seattle, WA 98101.The tour group will meet in the northwest area of the building’s lobby.

Hidden Spaces/Public Places also features a number of stairs and concludes at the Harbor Steps. Please let your guide know if you, or another member of your party, have any restrictions.


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Thank you to the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture for sponsoring out tour Season OAC_logoforweb[black]
photo_retail_bookcover The book, Seattle Architecture: A Walking Guide to Downtown, is available at the following locations:
    • SAF Gallery
    • Peter Miller Books
    • Watson Kennedy — Purveyor of Fine Goods
    • “Made in Washington” Stores
    • Most bookstores
Follow this link for more information. Distribution by University of Washington Press ISBN 13: 978-0-615-14129-9

ADDRESS

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

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1 day ago
Shipping Container Architecture Around the World | Architectural Digest

What are your favorite shipping container buildings around Seattle?

Cargo containers get a second life on land in these high-design structures

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3 days ago
Find Events | Buy Tickets | Bold Type Tickets

Stroll through serene quadrangles, lush gardens and awe-inspiring interiors at the UW Campus on our Purple & Gold Tour on September 29th.

#Seattle #Architecture #History #Tour University of ... See more

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4 days ago
Mt. Baker Tour: More Than a View Tickets | Mt. Baker Community Club | Seattle, WA | Sat, Sep 22 from 10am - 12pm | Seattle Architecture

We have a Mt. Baker #tour coming up this Saturday! Join us as we explore and learn more about the #architecture of this vibrant and unique #Seattle neighborhood.

More info and tickets below!

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 ... See more

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1 week ago
Greatest Hits Tour: Chart Toppers and Heart-Stoppers Tickets | Fairmont Olympic Hotel Lobby | Seattle, WA | Sat, Sep 22 from 10am - 12pm | Seattle Architecture

We've got another Greatest Hits #tour coming up! Consider spending your Saturday morning with us, touring the unique #Seattle #architecture that makes the Emerald City so interesting. Featured stops ... See more

It’s a new riff on the city as we focus on the construction, context, and culture which shaped our skyline, from golden oldies like Kirtland Cutter’s Rainier Club to popular favorites like the ... See more

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1 week ago
Find Events | Buy Tickets | Bold Type Tickets

Learn how the emergence of the automobile and shifting tastes towards wider boulevards saved old-town Ballard Avenue — a snapshot of small-town commercial architecture from the 1890s through the ... See more

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1 week ago
Waiting Rooms, Reception Areas, & Courtyards: 43 Notable Examples of Hospital Architecture

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1 week ago
Greatest Hits Tour: Chart Toppers and Heart-Stoppers Tickets | Fairmont Olympic Hotel Lobby | Seattle, WA | Sun, Sep 16 from 1pm - 3pm | Seattle Architecture

Enjoy a FREE Greatest Hits Tour on us! The weather isn't supposed to be too great this weekend but that shouldn't stop true Seattleites from getting outside.
Click on the link below to redeem some ... See more

It’s a new riff on the city as we focus on the construction, context, and culture which shaped our skyline, from golden oldies like Kirtland Cutter’s Rainier Club to popular favorites like the ... See more

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1 week ago

Come check out Transparency, the 21st Annual Model Exhibit at CfAD. A big thank you to Schemata Workshop, inc for exhibiting their work on the Central Area Design Guidelines Community Engagement ... See more

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2 weeks ago
Greatest Hits Tour: Chart Toppers and Heart-Stoppers Tickets | Fairmont Olympic Hotel Lobby | Seattle, WA | Sun, Sep 16 from 1pm - 3pm | Seattle Architecture

Join us on September 16th for another Greatest Hits #tour, where we'll take you through some of the iconic buildings that shape #Seattle's skyline, such as the Central Library and City Hall, and ... See more

It’s a new riff on the city as we focus on the construction, context, and culture which shaped our skyline, from golden oldies like Kirtland Cutter’s Rainier Club to popular favorites like the ... See more

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3 weeks ago
Find Events | Buy Tickets | Bold Type Tickets

Learn about the adaptive re-use of historic buildings, and the increase in high-rise condominiums downtown on our High Ambitions Tour: Concrete, Steel, Glass, and Egos.
September 9, 1:00 – 3:00 ... See more

Bold Type Tickets is your connection to events in your town, backed by the promotional power of your local weekly newspaper.

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