Pioneer Dexter Horton arrived in Seattle in 1853 and founded the city's first bank in 1870. Long known as Seattle First National Bank, it is now part of Bank of America. Its move to this large building in 1924 solidified the development of the city's financial district along Second Avenue.
It was one of the largest office buildings in the country at the time it was completed, with 5 3/4 acres of floor space and a thousand offices. The upper floors have four wings forming south-facing light wells to provide light and air to each office space. The massive structure is clad with cream-colored terra cotta and features a large banking hall with monumental columns and an ornate Second Avenue lobby with a colorful coffered ceiling.
The three-story columns are clad with "granitex," a terra cotta product colored to look like granite.
Second Avenue and Cherry Street (1.42mb mp3)
Find this building on our walking tour map. (680kb pdf)
This site is dedicated to the history of Seattle's downtown and waterfront, especially the State Route 99 / Alaskan Way Viaduct corridor. It was developed by the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration as an educational resource and as part of a Memorandum of Agreement for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (pdf 1mb).
Copyright 2011 Washington State Department of Transportation