National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program
Weekly Highlight: Liggett Building
Seattle, King County, Washington

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


When built in 1927, the Liggett Building on the corner of Pike Street & Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle was the essence of big city commercial architecture. The Liggett Building is in Late Gothic Revival Style and has an exterior of decorative terra cotta tile above the polished granite retail level. The ten-story high-rise is one of the best examples in the downtown Seattle area of this type of architecture. At the time of design and construction, by the local firm of Lawton & Moldenhour, the Liggett Building was a sign of Seattle’s “building boom” and on trend with the architecture trends of commercial capitols, New York and Chicago. Gothic, as an architectural style, originated in the 12th Century primarily for ecclesiastical structures like churches. Gothic Revival started popping up in major cities in the early 20th Century in the form of skyscrapers. Mid- to high-rise buildings followed suit across the nation; they were hailed as “cathedrals of commerce”, clearly evoking the religious roots of the previous use of the architectural style.

Fittingly, the Liggett Building, which housed the New York-based L.K. Liggett Drug Company one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies at the turn of the century, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C – Architecture. It is a property that embodies the distinctive characteristics of its period, type and method of construction. It also represents the Seattle 1920s building boom and its trends.

To see more photographs of this property go to our photostream on Flickr.

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