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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
498 Cherry Street, 700 Fourth Avenue
411 Columbia Street
701 Fifth Avenue

Technical Data

967.03 ft
936.52 ft
11.52 ft

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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