Seattle Municipal Tower

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Seattle Municipal Tower
Seattle Municipal Tower.JPG
Seattle Municipal Tower is located in Seattle WA Downtown
Seattle Municipal Tower
Location within downtown Seattle
Former namesAT&T Gateway Tower
Key Bank Tower
General information
TypeGovernment offices
Location700 Fifth Avenue
Seattle Civic Center
Seattle, Washington, USA
Coordinates47°36′18″N 122°19′47″W / 47.6051°N 122.3298°W / 47.6051; -122.3298Coordinates: 47°36′18″N 122°19′47″W / 47.6051°N 122.3298°W / 47.6051; -122.3298
Construction started1987
OwnerCity of Seattle
ManagementCB Richard Ellis
Roof220.07 m (722.0 ft)
Technical details
Floor count62
Floor area92,024 m2 (990,540 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectBassetti Architects
Structural engineerMagnusson Klemencic Associates
Main contractorUniversity Mechanical Contractors

Seattle Municipal Tower is a 62-story, 220.07 m (722.0 ft) skyscraper at 700 5th Avenue at the corner of 5th Avenue and Columbia Street in downtown Seattle, Washington. It is the fourth tallest building in Seattle. At its completion in 1990, the building was named AT&T Gateway Tower and later changed to KeyBank Tower reflecting the names of former anchor tenants AT&T and KeyBank.


The City of Seattle purchased Key Tower in early 1996 to house utilities and general government functions. The purchase price was $124 million, or $124 a square foot.[5] The City purchased the property during a downturn in the economy, citing recommendations from two panels: the citizens' group, Capital Finance Review Board, concluded that purchasing the building would cost a minimum of $47 million less than constructing new facilities new construction and a minimum of $121 million less than renovating existing city facilities; and the Citizens Advisory Panel concluded that the building "(met) the great majority of the city's space needs."[6]

On May 17, 2004, the tower's name was officially changed to the current moniker.[7]

The building is attached to the Seattle Civic Center complex and is owned by the city, and houses several government offices including the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities, the Department of IT, Human Services Department, and the Office of Economic Development.[8]

The Seattle City Council and offices of the Mayor of Seattle are located in the nearby Seattle City Hall.


The Municipal Tower was designed by Bassetti/Norton/Metler/Rekevics Architects, who also designed the Jackson Federal Building, and (under their current name) were the architect of record for the new Seattle City Hall.

  • The stairs between the plaza, lobby and tunnel levels are unusual and its site has the challenge of straddling a freeway entrance ramp.
  • The main lobby is floor 4, not floor 1 as is usual in American buildings.
  • The elevators are divided into lower and upper tiers. In order to reach floors above 40, visitors must take an elevator to the "sky lobby" on 40 and transfer to a second elevator to continue upward. Also, to reach floor 62 or "The Tip", one must transfer to a private elevator at floor 61 using an encoded badge.
  • The building's three restaurants are on an upper plaza (6th floor) and only one has an inside entrance.
  • The plaza and tunnel levels can't be reached by the main elevators. They also require an elevator transfer, in this case the parking-garage elevators on floor 4; or via the decorative staircase.
  • The glass cupola at the building's crest is not occupied space. It contains elevator equipment.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Seattle Municipal Tower". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  2. ^ Seattle Municipal Tower at Emporis
  3. ^ "Seattle Municipal Tower". SkyscraperPage.
  4. ^ Seattle Municipal Tower at Structurae
  5. ^ Seattle's Super Broker, Seattle Business Magazine, November 2009. Retrieved January 31, 2014
  6. ^ Council Hears From Public On Key Tower Plan, The Seattle Times, July 26, 1995. retrieved January 31, 2014
  7. ^ Seattle Fleets and Facilities - Municipal Tower webpage. Retrieved January 31, 2014
  8. ^ "Departments and Agencies". 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2010.

External links[edit]