Posted on January 3, 2021January 4, 2021 by WillemSunday/ a mini-architecture tour There was a welcome break in the rain today, so I went down to Second Avenue to check out the completed Qualtrics Tower. My visit turned into a mini-architecture tour, once I started walking. The Alaskan Way Viaduct is gone, and its Seneca Street off-ramp as well. So now one can see all of the $392 million Qualtrics Tower from this below-Seneca Street vantage point. The Tower was designed by Connecticut-based architecture firm Pickard Chilton. The podium facing First Ave. is 19 stories tall with a landscaped rooftop deck. The main tower behind it rises 38 stories above street level, with its own rooftop terrace and amenities. The red brick building is the early 1900’s Diller Hotel. It is one of downtown’s few remaining buildings from the 1890s, built after the Great Fire of 1889 as a luxury hotel. Today, the lobby of the erstwhile hotel is a bar with vintage decor, called the Diller Room. The public passageway and street level space is made larger by V-shaped columns that support the upper floors. The columns also provide 85 ft (26 m) of space up to the overhang. The columns were manufactured in Canada: steel tubes in a rebar cage, all encased in precast concrete. The 11-story Federal Office Building of Seattle on First Ave. opened in 1932. Its Art Deco detail is being restored. There is a banner on the side of the building, from none other than the now-infamous U.S. General Services Administration*. It says ‘Preserving Seattle’s first federal office building for future generations’. *It was the GSA that dragged its feet to acknowledge Biden as President-elect, and approve funds for the Biden transition team. This could be a scene from a zombie apocalypse movie. (Oh wait, it’s actually the Covid-19 apocalypse). I am on the Marion Street Ferry Walkway, looking back along Columbia Street. Flanking Columbia St. at the top are the steel & glass F5 Tower (compl. 2017, 44 storeys), the Seattle Municipal Tower (compl. 1990, 62 floors) and the Columbia Center (compl. 1985, 76 storeys, still Seattle’s tallest skyscraper). Here is Alaska Way South, seen from the Marion Street Ferry Walkway, with the entrance to the ferry terminal and the construction at Colman Dock on the left. It was two years ago in Feb. 2019, that the demolition of the 1953 Alaskan Way Viaduct (double-decker highway) started in earnest. The Viaduct has now been completely gone for a little more than a year. Ivar’s Fish Bar is open for take-aways, but Ivar’s Acres of Clams flagship restaurant next door, is closed (due to the no indoor dining restrictions). The Seattle Aquarium on Pier 59, on the Elliott Bay waterfront, opened in 1977 (now temporarily closed). I’m looking down towards the waterfront from Western Ave. View of Elliott Bay from Victor Steinbrueck Park by Pike Place Market. On the left is the Tacoma, that had just left for Bainbridge Island, and on the right is the Kaleetan, coming in from Bremerton. I did not get to see the sun set, as I had hoped. The park was empty. A construction fence keeps the public away from the rail that overlooks the Viaduct space below. (There are construction workers below). Rainier Square Tower (left) is just about complete. At 850 ft (260 m) tall and 58 storeys, it is the city’s second tallest skyscraper. On the right is the 1977 Rainier Tower (41 storeys, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, who designed the World Trade Center in New York City, as well). The new 10-story building on the southwest corner is 400 University Street. It will open later this year. The doors at the entrance to the Hotel Monaco on Fourth Ave. (constructed in 1969 as the Pacific Northwest Bell office building). The hotel is closed, for now.