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Rainier Tower

Coordinates: 47°36′32″N 122°20′03″W / 47.60902°N 122.33405°W / 47.60902; -122.33405
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Rainier Tower
Rainier Tower is located in Seattle WA Downtown
Rainier Tower
Location within downtown Seattle
Former namesRainier Bank Tower (1977–89)
Security Pacific Tower (1989–95)
Alternative namesRainier Square
General information
TypeCommercial offices
Location1301 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, Washington
Coordinates47°36′32″N 122°20′03″W / 47.60902°N 122.33405°W / 47.60902; -122.33405
OwnerUnico Properties
Roof156.67 m (514.0 ft)
Technical details
Floor count41
2 below ground
Floor area538,000 sq ft (50,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architect(s)Minoru Yamasaki
Structural engineerMagnusson Klemencic Associates

Rainier Tower is a 41-story, 156.67 m (514.0 ft) skyscraper in the Metropolitan Tract of Seattle, Washington, at 1301 Fifth Avenue. It was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, who designed the World Trade Center in New York City as well as the IBM Building, which is on the corner across the street from Rainier Tower to the southeast. Its construction was completed in 1977.[6]

The skyscraper has an unusual appearance, being built atop an 11-story, 37 m (121 ft) concrete pedestal base that tapers towards ground level, like an inverted pyramid.[7] Architect Yamasaki chose the design in order to preserve the greenery of downtown Seattle and allow more ground space to be devoted to a retail shopping plaza.[8][9]

Beneath the tower was Rainier Square, an underground shopping mall connecting with One Union Square, which is owned by the University of Washington (UW).[10] This shopping center was demolished in 2017. Both the mall and tower were originally named after Rainier Bank, which was merged in the 1980s into Security Pacific, which was eventually merged into Bank of America.[11] The tower was named after Security Pacific in 1989 until UW chose to rename it back to the more familiar "Rainier Tower" in 1995.[5]

Locals often refer to it as the "Beaver Building" as its physical appearance looks like a tree being felled by a beaver.[12] It had also been referred to as the "golf tee" building.[9]

In 2015, the University of Washington proposed the Rainier Square Tower, an 850 ft mixed-use tower, to occupy space on the same block as the Rainier Tower. Construction began in September 2017,[13][14] and completed in 2020.[15][16][17][18]

See also



  1. ^ "Rainier Tower". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  2. ^ "Emporis building ID 119487". Emporis. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016.
  3. ^ "Rainier Tower". SkyscraperPage.
  4. ^ Rainier Tower at Structurae
  5. ^ a b "It's A New (Old) Song: Rainier Tower Gets Its Name Back". The Seattle Times. September 23, 1995. Archived from the original on December 27, 2015. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  6. ^ Woodridge, Sally B.; Roger Montgomery (1980). A Guide to Architecture in Washington State. University of Washington Press. p. 127. ISBN 0-295-95779-4.
  7. ^ "Rainier Tower". buffaloah.com. Archived from the original on January 6, 2021. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  8. ^ "PCAD - Marine Bancorporation, Rainier National Bank, Headquarters Building, Downtown, Seattle, WA". pcad.lib.washington.edu. Archived from the original on December 3, 2020. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  9. ^ a b Gallagher, John (2015). Yamasaki in Detroit : a Search for Serenity. Detroit, Michigan: [Wayne State University Press]. ISBN 978-0814341209.
  10. ^ Bhatt, Sanjay (October 3, 2013), "UW has big plans for its prime downtown Seattle real estate", The Seattle Times, archived from the original on October 5, 2013, retrieved October 6, 2013
  11. ^ Glenn R. Pascall (May 8, 1998). "Too Big To Fail – To Too Big To Succeed?". The Puget Sound Business Journal. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  12. ^ Lonely Planet Pocket Seattle. Lonely Planet. June 2017. ISBN 9781787010864. Archived from the original on June 25, 2021. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  13. ^ Rainier Square Bank Tower, Yamasaki Inc., archived from the original on January 5, 2016, retrieved January 15, 2015
  14. ^ Rainier Square Hotel, Emporis, archived from the original on January 16, 2019, retrieved January 15, 2019
  15. ^ "Rainier Square - The Skyscraper Center". www.skyscrapercenter.com. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  16. ^ "Rainier Square Tower". Emporis. Archived from the original on July 5, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  17. ^ Russel Fortmeyer (May 1, 2021), "Rainier Square by NBBJ", Architectural Record, retrieved April 24, 2022
  18. ^ Brian Miller (August 5, 2021). "400 University is done, says Wright Runstad, and ready for tenants". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved April 24, 2022.