|Alternative names||1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza|
Seattle First National Bank Building
|Tallest in Seattle and Washington state from 1969 to 1985[I]|
|Preceded by||Space Needle|
|Surpassed by||Columbia Center|
|Location||1001 Fourth Avenue|
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Coordinates||47°36′22″N 122°20′03″W / 47.6061°N 122.3341°W|
|Roof||192 m (630 ft)|
|Floor area||70,089 m2 (754,430 sq ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect(s)||Naramore, Bain, Bray, and Johanson|
|Structural engineer||Skilling Helle Christiansen and Robertson|
|Main contractor||Howard S. Wright Construction Company|
Safeco Plaza (formerly known as 1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza, the Seafirst Building, and the Seattle-First National Bank Building) is a 50-story skyscraper in Downtown Seattle, Washington, United States. Designed by the Naramore, Bain, Brady, and Johanson (NBBJ) firm, it was completed in 1969 by the Howard S. Wright Construction Company for Seattle First National Bank (later known as Seafirst Bank), which relocated from its previous headquarters at the nearby Dexter Horton Building.
Standing at a height of 630 feet (190 m), Safeco Plaza was the tallest building (and structure) in Seattle upon completion. It dwarfed Smith Tower, which had been the tallest building since 1914, and edged out the Space Needle, the tallest structure since 1962, by 25 ft (7.6 m); the latter led locals to refer to the building as "The Box the Space Needle Came In". The building was surpassed by the Columbia Center in 1984; as of 2022, it is the seventh-tallest building in Seattle.
The building served as the headquarters of Seafirst until the bank moved into the Columbia Center upon its opening in 1985; in 2006, it became the headquarters of Safeco Insurance, which relocated from its previous headquarters in the University District.
Design and amenities
The bronze-colored aluminum and glass structure was the first modern class-A office building in Seattle and is the first skyscraper in the world to feature a Vierendeel space frame. The structure includes a two-story lobby as well as a five-story subterranean garage. Other amenities include 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) of ground-floor retail featuring a fitness center, a bank, some restaurants, a medical center, and a post office. The building also has a rooftop helipad, one of twelve in the city.
Prominent among its restaurants was the Mirabeau, which was situated on the 46th floor. The landmark restaurant closed in 1991 following a business downturn.
The eastern plaza in front of the building is home to Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae, an abstract bronze sculpture by Henry Moore that was part of a three-piece series. It was installed by previous tenant Seafirst Bank in 1971 and was planned to be removed after being sold in 1986, but was saved with a donation by the Bank of America (Seafirst's successor) to the Seattle Art Museum following public outcry.
Originally the headquarters of Seafirst Bank, it was sold fourteen years later to JMB Realty in 1983 for $123 million, a record for a Seattle building. The building was purchased by Seafo Inc., a company affiliated with the New York State Common Retirement Fund, in 1993. Hines and the CalPERS retirement system purchased 1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza in May 2005 for $162 million, with plans for $30 million in renovations to attract a new major client.
Safeco Insurance Company of America leased 284,000 square feet (26,400 m2) of the building on May 23, 2006, to be its headquarters after moving from its former building in the University District and consolidating its Redmond office. The company subsequently renamed it to Safeco Plaza. In 2015, Safeco announced that it would consolidate more offices into the tower, increasing its lease from 17 to 26 floors.
In July 2016, German firm GLL Real Estate Partners GmbH and South Korean firm Vestas Investment Management bought Safeco Plaza for $387 million. The firms sold the building in 2021 to Boston Properties for $465 million.
- Safeco Insurance
- Bank of America
- Riddell Williams
- Helsell Fetterman
- Fehr & Peers
- Interior Architects
- Business Service Center, Inc
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- ^ "Boston Properties Officially Closes on Seattle's Safeco Plaza for $465MM". The Registry. September 1, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2021.