Saturday, September 25, 2004
My visit to Smith Tower in Seattle
Ornate ceiling in the Chinese Room, Observation lounge of Smith Tower, Seattle. Hang out in the lounge, or walk around observation deck. A 7 story penthouse apartment is in the pyramid above. It is private.
See more of my Smith Tower Photos
But Smith Tower is bigger than a house
Another tourist was amazed that this landmark skyscraper sold, in 1996, for only $13 million dollars. The way Seattle home prices are going, it wouldn't be too many years before one bedroom houses are $13 million!
I budded into the conversation and stated that this is a sign of our times. Residential real estate has inflated way ahead of other economic things, such as commercial real estate. Must be a sign of our selfish, narcissistic times. A lot of economic effort just goes into where people live.
Commercial property can be less expensive, by comparison, because it also brings with it the costs of running a business.
Smith Tower is being run very well these days, managed by a non profit foundation related to Jewish education and environmental preservation. They also have some properties in Pioneer Square. One could call this "good stewardship."
The guide, at top of the tower, also pointed out that Smith Tower was a "fixer upper." $30 million had to be invested in upgrades for wiring, pluming, safety and other things. This was done soon after purchase.
Now, the observation lounge is a nice asset in downtown Seattle that is open to the public. Ticket price for the elevator, $6, last I knew.