The view better be worth it…
March 31, 2010  |  Event, PI

Is what I kept thinking to myself as we walked up what felt like thousands of stairs in King Street Station. Well, really only 326 (yes I counted).

Even with the stair climbing, I was fortunate to attend the tour of King Street Station last Thursday that was organized by the Seattle Architecture Foundation.

“Come see the work underway to restore the building’s historic character and grandeur.  The building’s tour will include an opportunity to go up into the clock tower.  [did you see that? called an "opportunity" instead of a thigh-burning climb]

King Street Station’s completion in 1906 marked an important era of growth for the city that helped establish Seattle as the primary shipping port of the Pacific Northwest.  Its architects, Reed & Stem, designed many train stations throughout the United States, including Grand Central Station in New York City.  The interior spaces were altered in the 1950s and 60s, resulting in the removal of the decorative plaster wall panels and addition of a suspended acoustic tile ceiling.  Restoration is underway to return the station to its original appearance.”

Due to the huge attendance (~65 – 70 people) and the nature of King Street Station, it was hard to hear the tour guide at many of the areas. But that wasn’t too important as I was there to see a side of King Street station that I normally wouldn’t be able to see.

This is the original ceiling with the drop down ceiling that they added when they tried to “modernize” the station. I’m really glad that they’re getting rid of it and restoring the original ceiling.

These are the very last steps in the clock tower to be able to walk around the outside. They only allowed 2 people on at a time as it is still a little wobbly. It will be interesting if they will allow people up here for tours once the renovation is complete.

I even included a shot of the International District — as we stood there, I was thinking this would have been a good place to stand when the Mayor was doing his tour. The procession that followed him everywhere would have been amusing from a bird’s eye view.

Intersection at 2nd Ave Ext S & Jackson St:

Old train tunnel that BNSF, Amtrak and Sounder Commuter trains use:

Roof of King Street Station:

My favorite neighborhood in the city (including the newly renovated Pacific Commercial Building by Conover Bond):

Awesome King Street Center office park adjacent to the station:

I’ll leave you with this final picture (no explanation necessary, right?):

My conclusion is that yes — the view was worth the climb. And the view was to be expected: clouds and rain and the chants of the Sounder game in the background.


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