Photo Galleries

The Skinner Building, home of the 5th Avenue Theatre, is more visible than it’s been for decades, thanks to the demolition of Rainier Square.  (Feliks Banel) Rainier Square’s demolition has temporarily opened up views of several significant Seattle landmarks, including the Cobb Building at 4th Avenue and University; the 1411 4th Avenue Building; and the old Great Northern Railway building (now Men’s Wearhouse) at the corner of 4th Avenue and Union.  (Feliks Banel) Rainier Square was built, in part, atop the site of the 1908 White-Henry-Stuart Building along 4th Avenue between University Street and Union Street.  (Courtesy MOHAI) Demolition of Rainier Square revealed what appears to be portions of the foundation of the 1908 White-Henry-Stuart Building at the corner of 4th Avenue and Union Street. (Feliks Banel) The 5th Avenue Theatre opened in the Skinner Building in September 1926.  (Courtesy MOHAI) The Great Northern Railway Building at 4th Avenue and Union Street is nowadays home to Men’s Wearhouse.  (Courtesy MOHAI) With Rainier Square gone, the entire south side of the Great Northern Railway Building is visible from the sidewalk along 4th Avenue.  (Feliks Banel) This view may have never been possible before, as the White-Henry-Stuart Building and then Rainier Square blocked the Great Northern Railway Building from what’s now the driveway of the Olympic Hotel.  (Feliks Banel) The Olympic Hotel and the Cobb Building at the corner of 4th Avenue and University Street.  (Feliks Banel). The Olympic Hotel as it appeared under construction in May 1924.  (Courtesy MOHAI) The Metropolitan Theatre was built in 1910 and was named for the “Metropolitan Tract,” that portion of downtown where the original University of Washington was built in 1861.  The Olympic Hotel’s current main entrance was built here after the theatre was demolished in the 1950s.  (Courtesy MOHAI) Front the front doorway of the 5th Avenue Theatre, the old 1411 4th Avenue Building is now almost completely visible.  (Feliks Banel) Victory Square was the name of a public gathering and War Bond-selling space on University Street between 4th Avenue and 5th Avenue during World War II; Bob Hope visited in September 1942.  (Courtesy MOHAI) The Cobb Building was the original home of what’s now KOMO Radio; KIRO Radio later moved into the same studios in the basement on the corner of 4th Avenue and University Street.  (Feliks Banel) From 5th Avenue, the Cobb Building is temporarily visible, with the Northern Life Tower in the background.  (Feliks Banel) This photo of the Cobb Building was taken from near the IBM Building at 5th Avenue and University Street, site of an arena where Seattle’s Stanley Cup-winning hockey team, the Metropolitans, played a century ago.  The Metropolitans were named for the Metropolitan Tract and the Metropolitan Building Company.  (Feliks Banel) From the sidewalk along Union Street, the block-length scale of the Skinner Building can be fully appreciated, if only temporarily.  (Feliks Banel) The full view of the north side of Olympic Hotel was hidden for 40 years behind Rainier Square.  (Feliks Banel) Where the Metropolitan Theatre once stood, this marker commemorates the original location of the University of Washington, along what’s now University Street.  (Feliks Banel) An earlier plaque in tribute to the original location of the University of Washington, where the Olympic Hotel now stands. (Feliks Banel)
Photos: Hidden history uncovered by demolition of Rainier Square