The Smith Tower in Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle almost started out life as a much smaller proposition than what it ended up becoming. Lyman Cornelius Smith dreamt of building a 14-story building in that location, but his son, Burns, convinced him to dream a little bigger. The result is the 469 feet high building that was completed in 1914, a few years after the death of Lyman.
The building, which was the tallest skyscraper in the city until 1962, has changed hands several times over the years and has seen mixed fortunes during those times. What hasn’t changed during its years in Pioneer Square has been the number of people who have flocked to see the iconic structure, many of whom make the trip to the Smith Tower Observation Deck, where great views of the city and beyond await them.
There are plenty of things to see and due up on the Observation Deck, which is located on the 35th floor of the Smith Tower. History buffs will love the newspapers that are on display from the early 1900’s. Perhaps the highlight of the visit to the top can be found in the legendary Chinese Room, where stunning design and brilliant decorations take you back centuries and which are sure to take your breath away.
If you are not a great fan of heights, you can still soak up the great views from the inside. For the perfect photographic opportunity, though, the outdoor observation deck is the place to be. The deck wraps around the building and offers views in all directions that need to be seen to be truly believed. There is a small admission fee to be taken up to the Observation Deck, but it’s one that won’t break anyone’s budget. Do be sure to check the calendar on the official website, as operating hours can change on a daily basis.