Smith Tower from Bank of America Tower

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The Smith Tower, one of the most remarkable buildings in Seattle, is situated in Pioneer Square. It is the oldest skyscraper in Seattle. The Smith Tower was opened on July 4, in 1914. At the time the Smith Tower was the fourth tallest building in the world and the tallest building on the West Coast until the Space Needle was built in 1962. It had also the primacy of the tallest office building west of the Mississippi River for almost 50 years.

The Smith Tower is called after its builder Lyman Cornelius Smith. In 1909, he realized to construct 14-story building in Seattle. His son, Burns Lyman Smith, participated also. He was a person, who persuaded his father to build a much taller skyscraper to achieve the crown from rival city Tacoma's National Real Estate Building as the tallest west of the Mississippi. Their ideas started in 1910. The whole construction took four years and the Smith Tower was completed in 1914. Unfortunately, the tycoon L.C. Smith never saw, what he attained, because he died prematurely.

The Smith Tower contains 540 offices, 6 retail stores, 2 telegraph offices, a public telephone station, one Chinese Room and an Observation Deck.
The Smith Tower is a beautiful building of Neoclassical style. The creation of such a tall building means using a huge amount of construction materials: 1,500,000 feet of lumber, 7,970,000 pounds of steel and three construction derricks, 150,000 pounds of electrical wiring and conduit.
Interior walls are made of bricks covered with plaster. Alaskan marble was used to build hallways, bathrooms and public corridors. Outer skin of the Smith Tower is granite, the residual part is terracotta. There is one noteworthy fact, that it has been professionally purified only once, in the 1970's. Seattle rain looks after it thoroughly.

Another example of perfection of the Smith Tower are windows. 2,314 windows are placed in bronze frames and most of them comprised their original safety glass from 1914.

On the 35th floor of the Smith Tower there is the Chinese Room, which impresses with its furniture and the hand-carved ceiling. They were presented by the Empress of China. The Chinese Room includes the famous Wishing Chair. The legend says that a single woman who sits in the chair, will marry within one year. The legend became true for Smith's daughter, who had her wedding here.
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