High on my list of places to visit in Seattle has been the Smith Tower Observation Deck. Long before I even reached Seattle, I read about the building and its architecture, history and decor and buildings like this fascinate me. Maybe its my Richmond ties but buildings with a rich history are way cooler than new ones.
So on Sunday, I had the chance to finally go see the observation deck and the Chinese Room at the Smith Tower. The building was Seattle’s first skyscraper, once the 4th tallest building in the world, and it remained the tallest building west of Chicago for almost 50 years. Yes, this was back in the early 1900′s but its still impressive.
As you enter the building, there’s not much of a grand lobby but there’s still lots of well-kept remnants of days past. The elevators still run with an elevator operator and as you slowly ascend you get a quick peek into each floor.
Arriving at the top, you enter the Chinese Room, filled with teakwood imported from China. The ceiling is gorgeous with 776 porcelain discs inlaid into teak tiles.
The Chinese Room can be rented out for special events and private parties and comes complete with a built in bar. (I apologize for not taking more pictures of the inside of the room.) But the beauty of the room is in constant rivalry with the beauty outside of the room. This building has a much more interesting view of Seattle than the Space Needle and for the price, its a much better deal too.
After leaving the Smith Tower, we headed over to Pike Place Market. The goal was to explore the market fully and get some food at the Alibi Room. We failed at both. The market, as always, was crowded and it made me claustraphobic and not feeling like it at all. I will go back and explore – it just wasn’t going to happen that day. I was, however, introduced to the “doughnut place” inside the market. This vendor serves up mini-doughnuts made right before your eyes and you can get a dozen for under $3 if your prepared to wait in line.
We also stopped by the gum wall in Post Alley to marvel at its vast disgustingness.
Today was a good day.