1201 Third Avenue (formerly Washington Mutual Tower), Seattle

1201 Third Avenue (formerly Washington Mutual Tower), Seattle

Formerly known as the headquarters of the financial company Washington Mutual, this skyscraper located at 1201 3rd Avenue is the second-tallest building in Seattle after the Columbia Center and the eighth-tallest on the West Coast of the U.S. Standing at a height of 235.31 meters (772.0 ft), it was built on the site of the 12-story Savoy Hotel which was imploded in 1986; however, the architects were able to incorporate two aluminum castings from the Savoy into the tower's design. Another building on the same block, the historic Brooklyn (Hotel) Building was retained and this too was factored into the tower's design.

It was the first major office building built under Seattle's 1985 downtown zoning plan, which called for height limits, interesting profiles, and height and density bonuses for public amenities to create a 24-hour downtown. The tower took advantage of all the height bonuses for public amenities that the 1985 plan called for including an entrance to the Metro Bus Tunnel, retail space, day care, public plaza, sculptured top, hillside public escalators, and lobby/atrium public access, as well as donating $2.5 million for off-site housing. By providing the amenities the designers were able to add 28 stories to the tower and almost double the base floor area ratio of the site.

The NY Times named it one of the three best new office buildings in the U.S. in 1988, and the May 1989 issue of Architecture Magazine called it "perhaps the best recent addition to any U.S. skyline". Paul Goldberger said of the tower, "The building seems proud of its height; for all its classical elements it has a certain sleekness, and in this sense it is characteristic of our time, at least in intention, for it bespeaks a desire to combine the formal imagery of classicism and the energizing aura of modernity."

Seattlites have voted the 55-story skyscraper as one of their favorite buildings. It is also home to a perch for Peregrine falcons, who are monitored using a public webcam that was installed in 1994.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Seattle. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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1201 Third Avenue (formerly Washington Mutual Tower) on Map

Sight Name: 1201 Third Avenue (formerly Washington Mutual Tower)
Sight Location: Seattle, USA (See walking tours in Seattle)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Seattle, Washington

Create Your Own Walk in Seattle

Create Your Own Walk in Seattle

Creating your own self-guided walk in Seattle is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Seattle Center Walking Tour

Seattle Center Walking Tour

Just north of Downtown you will find the ever-popular Seattle Center – a 74-acre (30-hectare) park and arts and entertainment center. Developed for the 1962 Century 21 Exposition (World's Fair), it contains many Seattle landmarks, including the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, and the highly interactive Museum of Pop Culture. It is also the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Seattle Architecture Walking Tour

Seattle Architecture Walking Tour

Downtown Seattle has many features typical of American cities – towering skyscrapers abuzz with commerce, upscale shopping and dining, splendid theaters – but is also unexpectedly pleasant with hills, outdoor sculptures, and peek-a-boo views of Elliot Bay's sparkling water.

Follow this self-guided walk for a rundown of Seattle's most striking downtown buildings – starting with...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Pioneer Square District Walking Tour

Pioneer Square District Walking Tour

Known as the district where Seattle was founded in the mid-19th century, Pioneer Square went through periods of boom and near-bust until a period of preservation managed to save and transform the area. Today, it is pretty much the most historic part of Seattle with some structures of note, including the Pioneer Building near Occidental Park, the Smith Tower, a Victorian-style wrought-iron pergola...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Seattle Introduction Walking Tour

Seattle Introduction Walking Tour

Seattle's pleasant central area has hills, refined architecture, lapping waves, and a Great Wheel next to the Aquarium along the waterfront. It also has one of the oldest, one-of-a kind, public markets in the U.S., with small stalls selling gorgeous flower arrangements and a staggering assortment of the freshest fruit, vegetables, fish, and meats. Take this walking tour to explore the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Tour

Seattle's religious buildings play a very important role in the city's social life. Besides their religious functions, the buildings are an important part of the city's architectural and artistic heritage. This walking tour will lead you to some of the most beautiful religious buildings in Seattle.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Fremont Neighborhood Walking Tour

Fremont Neighborhood Walking Tour

At the height of its counterculture days, Fremont renamed itself 'The People's Republic of Fremont' and later gave itself the moniker 'Center of the Universe'. As if to prove the point, there's a signpost showing the distances from Fremont to far-flung places around the globe.

The famous neighborhood is home to some of Seattle's most beloved and controversial...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles

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