Sketched Dec. 27, 2019

An imposing, cylindrical brick tower marks the highest point on Capitol Hill, 444 feet above sea level. If you didn’t know otherwise, it would be hard to guess this picturesque building at Volunteer Park is just a giant water tank in disguise.

But that’s just how Seattle rolled — back when the tower was built in 1906. A utilitarian public building couldn’t just be functional, it also had to be beautiful!

The Olmsted Brothers, the East Coast landscape architects who designed this and many other Seattle parks, went even further. Thanks to their vision, the tower includes a covered observation deck where everyone can enjoy wonderful, panoramic views of the city.

When was the last time you walked under one of the stone-framed entrances and took the spiraling stairway that leads to the top?

Wandering around the circular room and pausing at every arched window to take in the views on a recent gray day felt a bit zen, fitting for a moment of New Year’s reflections. 

P.S.: A sign at the base of the tower says it opens daily at 10 a.m. If exercising more is part of your New Year’s resolutions, you’ll get a nice workout from climbing up 106 steps!