Sunday Video: History Of Seattle’s Smith Tower


Seattle’s Smith Tower was once the tallest building west of the Mississippi and among the tallest buildings in the world. Built after Seattle’s Great Fire, it is the oldest skyscraper in the city, and is a tribute to the innovations in engineering and technology of the time. Smith Tower was the tallest on the West Coast until it was surpassed in 1962 by the Space Needle. This documentary by William Juvet provides more insight into this striking, historic building in Pioneer Square.

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Sarah is an urban planner and artist from Melbourne Australia, currently living in Seattle. She has contributed to diverse long-term projects addressing housing, transportation, community facilities, heritage and public spaces with extensive consultation with communities and other stakeholders. Her articles for The Urbanist focus on her passion for the design of sustainable, inviting and inclusive places, drawing on her research and experiences around the world.

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Great history though a bit slow-paced. I took a screenshot of the photo of the construction site with single-family homes in the background. Seattle wasn’t a growing city for such a long time we now need to look waaay back to remember what that looks like, and yes, it meant development happening in areas with high demand and low intensity uses.