The Groundbreaking Ceremony of The Smith Tower in Seattle took place on April 13, 1910, over 120 years ago! CeremonialSupplies.com would like to salute and honor historical groundbreaking ceremonies by providing the notable story of the construction of The Smith Tower. CeremonialSupplies.com is the most complete one-stop-shop on the net for groundbreaking shovels, grand opening ceremonial ribbons, ribbon-cutting scissors, event carpets and mats, and many more ceremonial items, all customized with your logo and artwork, to make your groundbreaking ceremony or grand opening event as momentous as any historical landmark!
The Smith Tower was built and initially owned by Lyman Cornelius Smith, a prominent businessman and founder of L.C. Smith & Bros. Typewriter Company. Lyman Smith envisioned the tower as a symbol of Seattle's growth and prosperity and he hired the architectural firm Gaggin & Gaggin, to design the Smith Tower. The primary architects responsible for the design were George Willis Lawton and his son-in-law, Brandon Clifford. The groundbreaking for the Smith Tower in Seattle took place on April 13, 1910 and the construction of the tower commenced on that date. The building was completed and officially opened on July 4, 1914 as part of the Independence Day celebration in Seattle. The Smith Tower was an ambitious project and, at the time of its completion, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, and held this distinction until the Space Needle was built for the World’s Fair in 1962.
Lyman C. Smith's company occupied a portion of the building, and the tower included both office space and the Chinese Room, a decorative space used for entertaining clients. Over the years, ownership of the Smith Tower changed hands multiple times. Today, the building is owned by Unico Properties, a real estate investment and operating company based in Seattle. The building is home to a local museum that displays the original elevator, as well as the many gifts received from dignitaries all around the world, commemorating and celebrating the building of the Smith Tower. The grand opening of The Smith Tower on July 4, 1914 marked a historic occasion of the completion of the tower, and its opening ceremony was part of the Independence Day celebrations in Seattle. The Smith Tower received a substantial number of gifts and congratulatory messages for its grand opening. The tower's developer and owner, Lyman Cornelius Smith, received over 3,000 telegrams and letters of congratulations from well-wishers around the world. The gifts ranged from artwork and decorative items to more practical items like silverware and office equipment. All the gifts are displayed today at the Smith Tower museum located inside the building.
The generosity and attention that the Smith Tower received during its grand opening reflected its significance as a major architectural and engineering achievement at the time. The tower was also an important symbol of Seattle's growth and prosperity in the early 20th century. As for specific attendees, the grand opening was a public event, and various local dignitaries and community members likely participated. However, detailed records of individual attendees are not as extensively documented for this event.
The Smith Tower, at the time of its completion, was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River and played a significant role in shaping Seattle's skyline. The grand opening would have been a momentous occasion, reflecting the city's growth and prosperity during that period. Over the years, the Smith Tower has become an iconic part of Seattle's architectural and historical heritage. The construction of the Smith Tower during Seattle's early 20th-century boom period contributed to the city's economic growth. It was a symbol of progress and prosperity. The tower was known for its innovative design, featuring setbacks and a pyramid-shaped, copper-clad roof. The architectural design was distinctive for its time and contributed to the skyline's uniqueness.
The Smith Tower originally housed office space, and its unique office layout featured "observatories" on the 35th floor, which were used for entertaining clients. The tower's mix of commercial and decorative features made it stand out. The building has survived economic downturns, changes in Seattle's economy, and the construction of taller buildings. Its enduring presence symbolizes the city's resilience and ability to adapt to changing times. As one of Seattle's oldest skyscrapers, the Smith Tower has been recognized for its historical and architectural significance. Efforts have been made to preserve its character and maintain its place in the city's history. Today, the Smith Tower continues to be a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can enjoy the historical exhibits, take in panoramic views of the city from the observation deck, and experience the charm of this iconic building.
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