Seattle architecture tours build up options

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A recent tour given by the Seattle Architecture Foundation pauses at the foot of the Rainier Tower, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the Seattle-born architect best known for designing the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.

SEATTLE – As Dr. Beverly Beeton moved to Seattle from Alaska a few years ago, looking for ways to learn more about her new hometown.

Beeton’s search led her to the Seattle Architecture Foundation, where she signed up for a downtown tour that focused on design details: “Lions, Griffins & Walruses, Oh My!”

• • What: Guided tours by the Seattle Architecture Foundation.

When: The tours take place three to four times a week, mostly on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Costs: $ 15 prepayment or $ 25 on the day of the tour.

Information: 206-667-9184 or seattlearchitecture.org

Beeton has made more than six architecture trips. She said they were a tremendous help in getting to know the city. Beeton even takes friends who grew up in Seattle on these tours.

“They come away and say,” I didn’t know anything about this neighborhood, “Beeton said.

• • What: Guided tours by the Seattle Architecture Foundation.

When: The tours take place three to four times a week, mostly on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Costs: $ 15 prepayment or $ 25 on the day of the tour.

Information: 206-667-9184 or seattlearchitecture.org

The Seattle Architecture Foundation added three new tours to the list this year, so any local or visitor looking to spend two hours and $ 15 will have more options to choose from. A new tour unveils some of downtown’s best-kept secrets and takes guests to a variety of parks, art galleries, and rest stops that are privately owned but are free and open to all.

For example, did you know that downtown US Bank Center houses an installation of Dale Chihuly’s hand-blown glass? How about the secluded park between the historic Bank of California building and the 5th and Madison condos?

“We’re going to try to let people know that these spaces exist and are open to the public,” said Stacy Segal, executive director of the charitable foundation.

Another tour looks at the newer generations of buildings that have sprung up around the historic mansions of the Queen Anne neighborhood.

The third new tour, Purple and Gold, explores architecture from all eras of the University of Washington.

One of the tour guides, Segal’s husband Jim Goodspeed, was a project designer for Paccar Hall, the sleek new flagship of the Foster Business School.

Goodspeed pointed out that the seemingly random location of Denny Hall, the first building on the UW campus, influenced the style and location of the new Paccar Hall.

“Our physical environment is built so much by previous generations,” he said. “It can affect our lives in ways we don’t even know.”

Segal said that all tours appeal to a wide audience by relating architecture.

Even professionals find the tours valuable.

After walking downtown, which included the Smith Tower, Seattle architect Evelyn Bravata said, “The tour piqued my appetite because despite the fact that I’m a longtime Seattle resident and architect, I was still never in this building. ”