Vintage Pacific NW: We’re revisiting some of our favorite stories from some of our favorite former magazine contributors. Check back each week for timeless classics focusing on food, fitness, gardening and more.

Originally published Dec. 9, 1979
Photographs by Robert Kossek


ARCHITECTURE IN SEATTLE is marching from the sidewalks to the skies. New construction has made the city into a quintessential young and growing urbana, and the results of the design boom are as diverse as the people of the Northwest.

The business and financial district has a long, lean, linear look about it.

But as you move north through Belltown and into the Denny Regrade, architecture grows more reflective — literally.

For, after all, it is the age of the “mirror monsters,” buildings that look to be designed to accommodate a race of giant narcissists.

Newest of these reflecting wonders is the angular, imposing, undernamed Fourth and Blanchard Building. But several others, including the United Airlines and Fourth and Vine buildings, are there for the primping in the Regrade.

The University of Washington campus, the architecture of which has developed during two centuries, also has some fresh new design ideas to boast about.

The best news, though, about architecture in Seattle is that much of it is homegrown. The fact that local architects are having their say in a place where they also choose to live should point to a healthy, challenging future for Seattle design.