The RKO Pictures Building


The RKO film exchange (now Roq la Rue Gallery, 2331 Second Avenue) was built in 1928. Despite its small size, it stands out for its cladding of Batchelder tiles in muted shades of brown and green featuring stylized Viking ships, dragons, lovebirds and flowers. It also has intact transom windows and distinctive cast stone pilasters with Art Deco designs. Batchelder tiles, made in Southern California in the 1920s, are often used on fireplaces but are rarely seen on exteriors in Seattle.

To learn more about this building, visit the City of Seattle's historical sites page.

Listen to a podcast from the Belltown Walking Tour.

Second Avenue and Battery Street (2.7mb mp3)

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

RKO Pictures , King County Property Record Card, Washington State Archives, 1937
RKO Pictures Building, 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