King Street Station, Seattle

King Street Station is worth a blog post on its own.

Luckily the station from 1906 was saved from the wrecking ball and restored to its former beauty. From the station’s homepage:

King Street Station first opened to the public in May 1906. Reed and Stem, the architectural firm responsible for New York City’s historic Grand Central Terminal, designed the station. The San Marco bell tower of Venice, Italy, served as the model for the building’s familiar clock tower. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

King Street Station, located on Jackson St between 3rd and 4th Ave S, is a brick and granite three-story building with a twelve-story clock tower. The ground floor, accessed from King St, is clad in granite. The walls of the second and third floors, as well as the clock tower, are faced in pressed brick with decorative terra cotta elements such as cornices and window lintels.

The interior boasts a grand waiting room with ornamental plaster ceilings and fluted Corinthian columns. Bronze chandeliers and wall sconces provide illumination for the passengers inside the station. The terrazzo floor has inlaid square mosaic tiles.  This creates a compass shaped pattern at the station entrance and other rectangular patterns throughout the rest of the areas.

While much of the exterior of King Street Station remained intact since the building was constructed in 1906, parts of the interior were substantially altered in a series of renovations in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s and others suffered neglect.  In February 2008, the City of Seattle purchased the landmark building from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (for $10!) with the goal of bringing back the grandeur of America’s Gilded Age. The restoration of King Street Station ensured that it remains a critical transportation hub and gateway into Seattle for the next hundred years.

Now Seattle is transforming King Street Station into a hub for arts and culture.

The King Street Station with the once highest tower in Seattle

The King Street Station with the once highest tower in Seattle

The ceiling and plaster walls and lamp in the renovated King Street Station

The ceiling and plaster walls and lamp in the renovated King Street Station

A view from the upper floor on the waiting area of Kings Street Station, Seattle.

A view from the upper floor on the waiting area of Kings Street Station, Seattle.

Detail of the column under the roof of Kings Street Station, Seattle.

Detail of the column under the roof of Kings Street Station, Seattle.

The upper floor at King Street Station and the central bronze candelabra

The upper floor at King Street Station and the central bronze candelabra

Lamps and the mosaic  decoration underneath at King Street Station

Lamps and the mosaic decoration underneath at King Street Station

Detail of a column and the mosaic  decoration underneath

Detail of a column and the ornate decoration underneath at King Street Station

 

 

These posters show the renovation project. You can click on them to see the text on the findings.

An iconic poster from the King Street Station. WPA (Work project Administration)

An iconic poster from King Street Station. WPA (Work Project Administration) 907 posters produced during the Great Depression 1936-1943

I wish modern architects would consider going back to a more beautiful style of buildings. Visiting renovated old historic buildings make a trip to a city very attractive.

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