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Columbia Center


Columbia Center
Bank of America Tower, Columbia-Seafirst Center


Structure in General

existing [completed]
framed tube
curtain wall


commercial office
shop(s) service branch(es) mercantile


  • Number of windows: 8,816.
  • Topped out (last beam) on September 30, 1984.
  • The rooftop is exactly 1,042.5 feet above sea level.
  • Opened March 2, 1985 as Columbia Center, then changed to Columbia Seafirst Center. Became Bank of America Tower on September 27, 1999, and then full-circle to Columbia Center on November 21, 2005.
  • The late Victor Steinbrueck, former dean of the University of Washington School of Architecture, said: "It's terrible. A flat-out symbol of greed and egoism. It's probably the most obscene erection of ego edifice on the Pacific Coast".
  • Tallest high-rise on the Pacific Coast from 1985 to 1989, surpassing Aon Center and surpassed by US Bank Tower.
  • The building's base is a polished Rosa Purino Carnelian granite.
  • About 2,000 people visit the tower every business day.
  • Tallest building in the state of Washington.
  • Voted the Best Bathroom in the USA, the Columbia Club women's bathroom is located on the 76th floor and offers a spectacular easterly view of the Cascades mountain range and the city below.
  • Occupies the entire city block bounded by Fourth and Fifth Avenues, from Columbia to Cherry Street.
  • Sold on April 10, 2007 for $621 million.
  • Approximately 5,000 people work in the tower daily.
  • Six escalators connect the retail levels with the lobby.
  • Tallest building by number of floors (76) west of the Mississippi River.
  • Originally designed to be 1,005 feet tall. The FAA had it shortened because of a flight path to SeaTac Airport. The same number of floors was retained by shortening the floor-to-floor height by 6 inches.
  • Sold in 1998 for $404 million to Equity Office Properties Trust, which was, at that time, a record sale in the Pacific Northwest for one building. This was more than twice the cost of construction.
  • Fifth Avenue entrance is 160 feet above sea level which includes a 12-foot rise in the plaza from Fifth Avenue's 148 feet elevation.
  • Ninth tallest office building in the world when opened in 1985 and by 2004 it ranked 28th place overall.
  • There is an observation deck on the 73rd floor.
  • Lowest elevation point of 106 feet above sea level is at corner of Fourth & Cherry making the overall height of building 936.5 feet.
  • Fourth Avenue entrance is 110 feet above sea level.
  • Actual height of structure from main entrance (4th floor) on Fifth Avenue, due to elevation changes between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, is 882.5 feet.
  • Martin Selig, the building's developer, in 1987 said: "The Space Needle told people where Seattle was. Columbia Center (the original name) tells people Seattle has arrived".
  • Three interlocking geometric arches lend the appearance of a three-tower design while functionally serving as a symmetrical, unified whole.

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More Information


701 Fifth Avenue

Technical Data

294.75 m
285.45 m
3.51 m

Involved Companies

antenna site management, construction company, developer, electrical engineering, elevator supplier, mechanical engineering, owner, security system supplier, steel supplier, structural engineering, tenant

Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • Observation floor is available
  • Public parking is available
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