Washington Athletic Club

Washington Athletic Club
  1. About the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle
    1. Building Catalogations
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Washington Athletic Club is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Sherwood D. Ford and built between 1929 and 1930, for a reported $2.50 million dollars, in Seattle, WA.

Its precise street address is 1325 6th Avenue, Seattle, WA. You can also find it on the map here.

The Washington Athletic Club is a structure of significant importance both for the city of Seattle and the United States as a nation. The building embodies the distinctive characteristic features of the time in which it was built and the Art Deco style. Because of that, the Washington Athletic Club was officially declared as a national landmark on March 11th 2008.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
Declared NL
years ago

Architect and team

Sherwood D. Ford was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Sherwood D. Ford was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline, which usually involves many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but at the very least we know that there was one other part involved, that was Wallace Bridge Company as the Main Contractor.

Architectural Style

The Washington Athletic Club can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The Washington Athletic Club was completed in 1930, right when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, so it kind of went with the trend at that time.

Spaces & Uses

The Washington Athletic Club reaches an architectural height of 249ft (76m), with the last accesible floor being 233ft (71m) off the gorund. It has a total of 22 floors, 21 above ground and 1 basements, served by 5 elevators.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1930, the Washington Athletic Club has mainly been used as Sports space, with other complementary uses such as hotel space.

249ft (76m)
233ft (71m)
1 basements

Materials & Structure

The Washington Athletic Club uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features decorated tan bricks on both it's base and tower. The three story base that's horizontally divided by a wide intermediate cornice. At ground level, strips of black marble and bronce suround the shopping windows.


  • www.seattle.gov