Columbia Center is the tallest skyscraper in the downtown Seattle skyline and the tallest building in the State of Washington. At 937 ft, it is currently the third tallest structure on the West Coast after Los Angeless 73-story 1, Bank Tower, and the 1, 099-foot Wilshire Grand Center. The tower has the tallest public viewing area on the West Coast and west of the Mississippi and it occupies most of the block bounded by Fourth and Fifth Avenues and Cherry and Columbia Streets. It contains 76 stories of office space above ground and seven stories of various use below ground. Construction of this began in 1982 and finished in 1985. It was designed by Chester L. Lindsey Architects who also designed the Fourth and Blanchard Building in the Belltown neighborhood, Columbia Center was designed by Washington architect Chester L. Lindsey. The base of the building is clad in Rosa Purino Carnelian granite, the buildings structure is composed of three geometric concave facades with two setbacks, causing the building to appear like three towers standing side by side. 1%. The tower was designed to be about 306.5 m. There is a deck on the 73rd floor which offers views of Seattle. The top two floors of the building are occupied by the private Columbia Tower Club, which houses a restaurant, bar, library, the 40th floor is accessible to the public and features a Starbucks cafe. An underground concourse connects the building to the nearby Seattle Municipal Tower and that name gave it the nickname BOAT. In November 2005, the name was changed back to Columbia Center after the bank reduced its presence in the building. Bank of America still maintains office space within the building, but has closed the bank branch at the base of the tower. Two years before the start of construction, in 1980, Howard S. Wright construction company began to become involved with the phases of the Columbia Center. Martin Selig, a prominent Seattle developer, borrowed $205 million in 1981 to develop the property and this was among one of the largest foundations for a building in Seattle along with concrete footings extending 134 feet below street level. However, the steel of the building was built at a rate of 2 floors per week. Then, the building itself was completed on January 12,1985, U. S. Steel Corporation was contracted to provide 16,000 short tons of steel for construction. It was approximately 50% taller than the previous tallest skyscraper in Seattle, Selig continued to own and manage the building until 1989, when financial problems forced him to sell it to Seafirst Corporation for $354 million
The southwest face of Columbia Center from Smith Tower, August 2007.
The Columbia Center (then Columbia Seafirst Center) under construction circa 1984.