Insurance Building (Olympia, Washington)

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Insurance Building
Washington State Capitol in Fall (2008) 06.JPG
Front of the Insurance Building (left) in 2008
Insurance Building (Olympia, Washington) is located in Washington (state)
Insurance Building (Olympia, Washington)
General information
Architectural styleAmerican Neoclassicism
Town or cityOlympia, Washington
CountryUnited States of America
Coordinates47°02′09″N 122°54′20″W / 47.0358°N 122.9055°W / 47.0358; -122.9055Coordinates: 47°02′09″N 122°54′20″W / 47.0358°N 122.9055°W / 47.0358; -122.9055
Construction started1920
Technical details
Floor count4
Design and construction
ArchitectWalter R. Wilder and Harry K. White

The Insurance Building is a government building in Olympia, Washington that houses the office of the Insurance Commissioner of Washington.


The Insurance Building, along with other government buildings on the Washington state capitol campus, was designed by the New York architectural team of Walter Wilder and Harry White.[1] It was the second facility built on the new capital campus, following completion of the Temple of Justice, and was constructed from Wilkeson stone, a durable sandstone mined from quarries in Pierce County, Washington.

The cornerstone of the Insurance Building was laid in 1920.

The cornerstone of the building was laid on April 30, 1920 in a Masonic ceremony overseen by Thomas Skaggs, a Masonic grand master and chairman of the state's Board of Control, and was preceded by a ceremonial processional formed by the Knights Templar of Tacoma and accompanied by the band of the Affifi Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. A dedication address was delivered by Governor Louis Hart.[2][3] It was completed the following year with a final reported cost, including furnishings, of $1,087,497.97.[4]

During the 1949 Olympia earthquake, the Insurance Building was one of the two most heavily damaged structures in Olympia.[5] Fifty years later, after the adjacent Legislative Building was damaged during the Nisqually earthquake, the office of the Governor of Washington was temporarily relocated to the Insurance Building.[6]


The facility is a rectangular structure oriented with the longer axis running north and south. To the north of the building is the "Winged Victory Monument," the state's memorial to World War I veterans, designed by Alanzo Victor Lewis and installed in 1938. The north and south ends of the building have colonnades supporting an unembellished frieze and pediment, while the east and west sides of the structure consist of rows of windows.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pierce, Kingston (2003). "Olympia Capitol -- A History of the Building". HistoryInk. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Insurance building cornerstone ceremony, Washington State Capitol complex Insurance Building construction, Olympia, April 30, 1920". University of Washington. 29 April 1920. Retrieved 18 October 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  3. ^ "Mason to Lay Stone April 30". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. 29 April 1920. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  4. ^ The Washington State Capitol Campus. Washington state Department of Commerce and Economic Development, Travel Document Division. 1972.
  5. ^ Yeates, Robert. "Living with Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest". Oregon State University. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  6. ^ "State, feds agree on $5.1M in repairs to Olympia Capitol building". DJCOregon. 2002. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Winged Victory Monument". State of Washington. Retrieved 19 September 2014.