recent tour given by the Seattle Architecture
Foundation pauses at the foot of the Rainier Tower,
designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the Seattle-born
architect best known for designing the twin towers
of the World Trade Center in New York City.
— When Dr. Beverly Beeton moved to Seattle from Alaska
several years ago, she started looking for ways to learn
more about her new hometown.
search led her to the Seattle Architecture Foundation,
where she signed up for a downtown tour focusing on design
details: "Lions, Griffins & Walruses, Oh
has taken more than six architecture tours. She said they
were a tremendous help in getting to know the city. Beeton
even takes friends who grew up in Seattle on these tours.
come away saying, ‘I didn’t know anything about that
neighborhood,’" Beeton said.
Seattle Architecture Foundation has added three new tours
to the roster this year, so any local or visitor
comfortable spending two hours and $15 will have more
options to choose from. One new tour reveals some of
downtown’s best-kept secrets, taking guests to a variety
of parks, art galleries and rest areas that, although
privately owned, are free and open to all.
you know, for example, that the U.S. Bank Centre downtown
houses an installation of Dale Chihuly’s blown glass?
How about the secluded park wedged between the historic
Bank of California Building and the 5th and Madison
going to try to let people know that these spaces exist
and are available for the public to use," said Stacy
Segal, the executive director of the nonprofit foundation.
tour looks at the newer generations of buildings that
cropped up around the Queen Anne neighborhood’s historic
third new tour, aptly titled "Purple and Gold,"
explores architecture from every era of the University of
Washington, from the earliest Gothic halls to the freshest
of the tour guides, Segal’s husband, Jim Goodspeed, was
project designer for Paccar Hall, the Foster Business
School’s sleek new flagship building.
pointed out that the seemingly random position of Denny
Hall, the first building on the UW campus, influenced the
style and location of the new Paccar Hall.
physical environment is built so much by previous
generations," he said. "It can touch our lives
in ways we don’t even know."
said all the tours aim for a wide audience by making
find the tours valuable, too.
taking the downtown trek, which included the Smith Tower,
Seattle architect Evelyn Bravata said, "The tour
whetted my appetite, because despite the fact that I’m a
longtime Seattle resident and architect, I’ve never been
in that building."
of the neighborhood tours focus more on the here and now.
One tour guide, Katie Kemezis, said she encourages
attendees to apply their interest in architecture toward
community planning when she leads her tour of South Lake
hope to inspire people to think twice about the sidewalk
they’re walking down, or the development that’s going
in across the street ... or a land-use measure that’s on
their ballot in the next election," she said.
occur three to four times a week, mostly on Thursdays,
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $15 advance,
or $25 on the day of tour. For more information, call
206-667-9184 or go to seattlearchitecture.org.