Columbia Center is an important landmark in Seattle. It has the distinction of being the tallest building in the downtown Seattle skyline. At 932 ft, it is currently the 2nd highest structure on the West Coast and the tallest in the State of Washington. The skyscraper has 76 floors above ground and 7 stories below ground. It is located at the block formed between 4th and 5th Avenue and Cherry and Columbia Streets.
The building was originally called Columbia Seafirst Center, named after its largest tenant – the Seafirst Bank. After Seafirst bank was bought by Bank of America, the name of the building was changed to the Bank of America Tower. With the new name, the building was nicknamed BOAT, derived from the initial of each word of Bank of America Tower. In 2005, the name of the building was changed to Columbia Center, after Bank of America reduced its presence in the building.
The building hosts the world’s biggest firefighter competition where more than 1,500 firefighters from across the world compete by sprinting up the stairs of 69 floors in full firefighter gear.
The construction of the building began in April 1982 and was finished in May 1985.
The amazing skyline tower was designed by Chester L. Lindsey architects, and was built by Howard S. Wright Construction Company. The base of the building is clad in Rose Purino Carnelian granite. Because of the three geometric arches that constitute the building, Columbia Center appears like three towers standing side by side.
The lobby of the tower consists of three floors of retail and dining that acts as a cafeteria for the occupants of the building. The center of the building has a magnificent waterfall sculpture. There is an observation deck on the 73rd floor. The top two floors are occupied by the Columbia Tower Club, which houses a bar, restaurant, library and meeting room. There is an underground concourse that connects the building to the Bank of America Fifth Avenue Plaza and the Seattle Municipal Tower.
There are a number of big brand names that rent office space in the tower, including DLA Piper LLC, Amazon.com, Bank of America and many more.
If you want to get a view of Seattle from its tallest building, the best is from the observatory deck of the Columbia Center. It’s viewing deck offers spectacular views of nature and the surrounding the city. In 2013, the 270 degree Sky View was remodeled into a 360 degree viewing area, thus giving a breath-taking view of the entire city. From this dizzying vantage point, you can look down at the roofs of the other towering skyscrapers.
The observatory deck at Columbia Center is open daily from 10 AM to 7 PM. A visit to the deck will cost adults $12.50, kids above the age of five $9, seniors and military will have to pay $9 and kids under five can visit for free.