The William Tell Hotel


The William Tell Hotel (now City Hostel, 2327 Second Avenue) provided a convenient place for salesmen and theater owners to stay. It was built in 1924 as the Lorraine Hotel, designed by local architect J. Lister Holmes, who later gained prominence for his Modernist works.

The building exhibits extraordinary terra cotta detailing including an ornate balustrade, shield medallions with urns and flowers, and an arched entry flanked by pilasters adorned with griffins. It is also notable for the large windows with their original wood sash. The William Tell was used for low income housing for many years, and is now a hostel for visitors to 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)

William Tell/Lorraine Hotel. Photo courtesy of MOHAI P-I 23672, 1929
William Tell 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