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Safeco Plaza
1001 Fourth Avenue Seattle Washington.jpg
Safeco Plaza viewed from the sundeck of Washington Mutual Tower in 2008; Columbia Center is directly behind it
Alternative names 1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza
Seafirst Building
Seattle First National Bank Building
Record height
Tallest in Seattle and Washington state from 1969 to 1985
Preceded by Space Needle
Surpassed by Columbia Center
General information
Type Commercial offices
Location 1001 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Coordinates 47°36′22″N 122°20′03″W / 47.6061°N 122.3341°W / 47.6061; -122.3341Coordinates: 47°36′22″N 122°20′03″W / 47.6061°N 122.3341°W / 47.6061; -122.3341
Construction started 1966
Completed 1969
Cost $32 million
Owner CommonWealth Partners, CalPERS
Management CommonWealth Partners
Height
Roof 192 m (630 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 50
Floor area 70,089 m2 (754,430 sq ft)
Lifts/elevators 18
Design and construction
Architect Naramore, Bain, Bray, and Johanson
Structural engineer Skilling Helle Christiansen and Robertson
Main contractor Howard S. Wright Construction Company

Safeco Plaza, previously 1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza and the Seattle-First National Bank Building, is a 50-story, 630-foot (190 m) skyscraper in Downtown Seattle, Washington, United States.

The building is occasionally referred to by locals as "The Box the Space Needle Came In", in reference to the city landmark nearby. Safeco Plaza was completed in 1969 by the Howard S. Wright Construction Company for Seattle First National Bank. It dwarfed Smith Tower, which had been the tallest building in the Downtown area since 1914, and edged out the Space Needle (finished in 1962) in Seattle Center by 25 ft (7.6 m). It remained the tallest structure in the city for sixteen years, until the Columbia Center was completed in 1985.

Design and amenities

The bronze-colored aluminum and glass structure was the first modern class-A office building in Seattle and is the first skyscraper in the world to feature a Vierendeel space frame. The structure includes a two-story lobby as well as a five-story subterranean garage. Other amenities include 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) of ground-floor retail featuring a fitness center, a bank, some restaurants, a medical center, and a post office. The property also houses a sculpture titled Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae 1968 by Henry Moore which is owned by the Seattle Art Museum.

History

Seafirst Building, 1969
The "Seattle First National Bank Building" in 1969.

Originally the headquarters of Seafirst Bank, it was sold fourteen years later in 1983. Safeco Insurance Company of America leased 284,000 square feet (26,400 m2) of the building on May 23, 2006, to be its headquarters, moving from its former building in the University District and Redmond, and renamed it Safeco Plaza. The company announced in 2015 that it would consolidate its offices into the tower, increasing its lease from 17 to 26 floors.

On July 6, 2016, it was reported that German firm GLL Real Estate Partners GmbH agreed to buy the building for $387 million. The tower had previously been sold in 2005 to CalPERS and Hines for $163 million; the sale in 1983 was for $123 million.

Major tenants

  • Safeco Insurance
  • Bank of America
  • Riddell Williams
  • Helsell Fetterman
  • Fehr & Peers
  • Interior Architects
  • Business Service Center, Inc
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