KIRO Newsradio historian Feliks Banel delivers his All Over The Map feature Friday mornings on Seattle's Morning News

All Over The Map

A circa 1909 image of the Central Building on Third Avenue between Marion and Columbia Streets shows the "Downtown Observatory" atop the structure's southwest corner. (Courtesy David B. Williams) A circa 1909 close up of the Chamber of Commerce observatory, from a photo in the lobby of the Central Building. (Feliks Banel/KIRO Newsradio) A view of the 1914 Smith Tower from the 1909 rooftop observatory on the Central Building. (Feliks Banel/KIRO Newsradio) The waterfront view in 1909 would not have been obstructed by all the more recent buildings. (Feliks Banel/KIRO Newsradio) The Space Needle, Seattle's more famous observatory since 1962, is visible from the old 1909 observatory. (Feliks Banel/KIRO Newsradio) Though visible from the street, the old observatory has been almost invisible to most Seattleites for the past century. (Feliks Banel/KIRO Newsradio)
Secret downtown observatory hiding in plain sight