The New Washington Hotel


James Moore had owned an even grander hotel, the Denny/Washington Hotel at Third Avenue and Virginia Street, but it was demolished in 1906 when the area was regraded. As its replacement, Moore constructed the elegant 14-story New Washington Hotel (now the Josephinum, 1902 Second Avenue). When it was completed in 1908 it was the city's premier hotel with 250 rooms and an elegant marble lobby and dining room.

Its guests have included Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson and Warren G. Harding. Much later, Elvis Presley stayed here when he was filming It Happened at the World's Fair. The exterior has extensive terra cotta, with an unusual worm-like design. The building has been used for low-income housing since 1963 and was completely renovated in 1991. The former dining room now accommodates a Catholic church.

Listen to a podcast from the Belltown Walking Tour.

Second Avenue and Stewart Street (1.1mb mp3)

Find this building on our walking tour map. (680kb pdf)

New Washington Hotel/Josephinum, c. 1910. Photo courtesy of MOHAI Webster & Stevens 1983.10.8972
Josephinum/New Washington Hotel photo by Mimi Sheridan, 2010

About us

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