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Mutual Life Building

605 1st Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Date Built:
Begun 1890, major alterations and additions in 1916
Original Architect /
Elmer H. Fisher, completed by James E. Blackwell
Original Owners:
Henry Yesler, one of Seattle’s most significant early citizens and leaders
Late Victorian or Victorian romanesque sandstone prevalent in Seattle buildings constructed after the 1889 fire. The office floors added later reflect the Chicago school or commercial style typical of the early 20th century.

Historic Seattle’s Role:

Originally built in 1890 in the Romanesque Revival style popular in Seattle after the 1889 fire, the Mutual Life Insurance Company purchased the building in 1916 and added five floors. In 1983, Historic Seattle acquired the building and provided financing assistance for the rehabilitation of what was a very deteriorated building located on a prominent corner in Pioneer Square.

The property is also a contributing building to the Pioneer Square Preservation District.

Current and Future Uses:

The Mutual Life Building houses a mix of offices on the upper floors and retail spaces on the first floor and basement.


Photo: Jennifer Tucker

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