Northern Life Tower

pictures, photos, facts and information on Northern Life Tower (Seattle)


Northern Life Tower ( 480x640 )
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The foundations of the Northern Life Insurance Company were laid with assets of $170,232 by D. B. and T. M. Morgan. This time the Northern Life Insurance Company had its seat in the Colman building. The firm prospered. A few years later the Northern Life Insurance Company had to be moved to larger offices, where it remained until 1919 – the year of T. M. Morgan's death. He dreamed about his own building "finer than everything on the Pacific coast." His plans began in April 1927. Originally 24 floors were planned, later three more floors were appended. This was the fact, which made the Northern Life Tower one floor higher above the sea level than the taller Smith Tower.

The Northern Life Tower was finally completed in 1928. It is the first building in Seattle built in Art Deco style, sometimes called Art Modern style.
Art Deco is a style of decoration. Vivid color and stark, geometric shapes are typical for it. Art Deco also includes a lot of contrasts. The stress is put on clean shapes and elegant lines.

The Northern Life Tower is made of marble, imported from all over the world: France, Spain, Vermont, Italy, California, New York, Alaska and Tennessee, polished pink granite was transported from Texas. The beautiful ziggurat exterior is filled up with 33 colors of bricks. There are convoluted bronze panels with a bas-relief ceiling symbolizing local flora and fauna in the marble hall. The lighting fully illuminates the whole building with more than 200 floodlights. It looks like a "phantasmagoric display" because all the floodlights are faded into one another. The colors and the frontage design of the building were inspired by indigenous rock creation.

The Northern Life Tower was added to the list, the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. 14 floors in the tower are occupied by the F. B. I.
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