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Seattle's City Halls - Home
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Seattle's City Halls

The Municipal Building

rendering of Municipal Building
Municipal Building rendering

By 1959 the City needed to move out of the County-City Building, in part because the County required the space. The City decided to construct a new building.

In 1959 City Councilman Dorm Braman promoted a "lease-purchase" method for acquiring a new City Hall and five proposals were accepted, including one by the Beut Corporation from Dallas Texas. Local builders and architects objected to a lease-purchase arrangement in lieu of the normal design and bid process. Architect Victor Steinbrueck was among those who protested, saying, "A proper architectural competition would have allowed much more talent to have participated, and resulted in the best possible building." Although all five proposals were thrown out, the City contracted independently with the Beut architect James MacCammon. The contract was let in 1960 and construction completed in 1962.


The Municipal Building was completed for a sum of $7 million which was paid in cash. Joint architects were Damm, Daum and Associates of Seattle and J.N. MacCammon of Dallas, Texas. Features of the 12-story building included a roof top garden and a modern telephone system, "Centrex."

In 1970, $150,000 was spent to refurbish the building, including a remodeling of the Mayor’s 12th floor quarters. City architect William Dimmich estimated the improvements should "hold us another four or five years."

The new building had its share of critics. Some said it looked more like a motel than a City Hall. In later years Mayor Charles Royer was reported to have said, "The best thing about working in City Hall is that you don’t have to look at it."

Municipal Building from east
Municipal Building from east
Municipal Building aerial
Municipal Building aerial
Municipal Building from west
Municipal Building from west

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