About Quizzes

Hoge Building

The 1911 Hoge Building, located at 705 Second Avenue, just north of the Pioneer Square-Skid Road Historic District, represents the opulence and indulgence of America's early-20th-century financial elite. The building, named after John Hoge, who personally financed the project, is considered to be the second true "skyscraper" in Seattle - the Alaska Building was the first. The design of the building displayed visionary concern for seismic activity, and the architects incorporated into their design the results of studies of structures in the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. The handsome “Beaux-Arts” design featured extravagant ornamentation, cartouches, two stories of terra cotta ornament, elegant tan brick, and a cornice, opulently adorned with lion heads. An interesting anecdote to the construction was the competition between Hoge and fellow financier L.C. Smith to own Seattle's tallest building. Smith was simultaneously erecting a tower, and although the two friendly adversaries had agreed that 14 floors would fulfill their business needs, the Smith Tower's original plan called for 18 stories. The Hoge Building temporarily became Seattle's tallest building owing to its 18 stories, elevated site, and floors that were built with extra height. Smith, however, ripped that honor away from Hoge and permanently regained the title by adding a 24-story tower, a feature that the Hoge building could not support. The Hoge Building stands as a magnificent beacon to a long gone financial era and the Colossi that ruled it.