Columbia Center,Seattle, USA
Amazing Columbia Center ( which is formerly Bank of America Tower and Columbia Seafirst Center) It is the tallest skyscraper in the Seattle skyline, as well as (according to real structure and number of habitable floors) the tallest building in the State of Washington, and the West Coast region of North America, west of Chicago. It occupies most of the block bounded by Fourth and Fifth Avenues and Cherry and Columbia Streets. At 284.2 m (932 ft) it is currently the second tallest structure on the West Coast (after Los Angeles’ 72 stories U.S. Bank Tower), when the antenna is counted as structure. It contains 76 stories of class-A office space above ground and seven stories of various use below ground, making it the building with the most stories west of the Mississippi. Construction of this building began in 1982 and finished in 1985. It was designed by Chester L. Lindsey Architects who also designed the Fourth and Blanchard Building in the Bell town neighborhood, and was built by Howard S. Wright Construction. Martin Selig, a prominent Seattle developer, borrowed $205 million in 1981 to develop the property. The Columbia Seafirst Center, as it came to be known, was constructed by Howard S. Wright, completed on January 12, 1985, and opened on March 2. U.S. Steel Corporation was contracted to provide 16,000 short tons (15,000 t) of steel for construction. It was approximately 50% taller than the previous tallest skyscraper in Seattle, the 630-foot (190 m) Seattle First National Bank Building (now Safeco Plaza) that opened in 1969. Selig continued to own and manage the building until 1989, when financial problems forced him to sell it to Seafirst Corporation for $354 million. Management was taken over by the Tishman West Company of Los Angeles. Controversy regarding the skyscraper’s size contributed to the passage of a 1989 law called the Citizen’s Alternative Plan (CAP) that enforced more stringent restrictions on the size of buildings in Downtown Seattle. In 1990, after rejecting earlier plans for 300-foot (91 m) antennas, Seattle and the FAA granted permission to erect two 192-foot (59 m) antennas on top of Columbia Center, which were expected to be used for broadcasting radio and television throughout the region. Though the FAA was originally worried about the tower’s height encroaching the airspace, they deemed the addition of the antennas not problematic. The antennas were not built before the permits expired in 1994, however. Equity Office Properties bought Columbia Center from Seafirst in 1998 for $404 million. The New York State Common Retirement Fund bought a 49.9% stake in the building and then several years later sold its share back to Equity Office. In 2007, Columbia Center was sold by Equity Office to Beacon Capital, which is the current owner as of 2012.