Arctic Club Building
Seattle Attractions--Downtown Architecture
Third Avenue at Cherry Street
|History of the Building|
|Photo Gallery Page 1--the Walruses|
|Photo Gallery Page 2--the Polar Bar|
|Photo Gallery Page 3--the Dome Room|
The Arctic Club Hotel is one of my favorite buildings in Seattle. It was built in 1916 as a club for successful Klondike Gold Rush prospectors. The building’s most notable and beloved feature is the group of 27 terra-cotta walrus heads that stand watch over the city from the building’s third floor. The beautifully restored lobby is worth a look. The Arctic Club Building is now a 117 room Doubletree hotel.
For photographers, the Arctic Club Building's walrus heads with their magnificent tusks are a delight to photograph. Take a telephoto shot of a side view of the walruses. Your picture will look like a walrus convention.
HISTORY OF THE BUILDING
The Arctic Club was a men’s social club that was founded to provide a gathering place for men who had gotten wealthy from the Klondike Gold Rush. The Arctic Club built the nine--story Arctic Club Building in 1916.
The city of Seattle occupied and owned the building for many years. The building was sold to a private group and it was converted to a luxury Doubletree Hotel in 2008.
After a couple of quality restorations and the recent conversion of the building to a luxury Doubletree Hotel, the building retains many of the original architectural features that made the building so attractive and unique.
The 27 terra cotta walrus heads are the building’s most distinguishing and enduring symbol. They line the building’s third floor and gaze serenely out at Cherry Street and Third Avenue.
The building is one of Seattle’s finest examples of terra cotta ornamentation. The terra cotta including the walrus heads is presented in lovely blue, peach, and ivory tones. It was Seattle’s first building to feature colored terra cotta.
The lobby retains much of the original building’s ornamentation. This is helped by the framed portraits of the original members of the Arctic Club that are presented near the main entrance. The staircase leading to the third floor is made of Alaskan marble.
The beautifully restored Polar Bar is one of the most attractive bars in the city and serves as eye candy for visitors in the lobby. The Polar Bar makes you feel like you just moved back in time to the early 20th century.
The crowning glory of the building's interior is the splendid Northern Lights Dome Room that features a stained glass ceiling made by Tiffany and Company. It is certainly one of Seattle’s most beautiful interior spaces and it reminds you of the luxury and elegance from the early 20th century.