Iconic Smith Tower celebrates 100 years


by JANET KIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @JanetKimK5


Posted on June 30, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 30 at 7:06 PM

SEATTLE -- It's a Seattle landmark that once stood as the tallest building in the Northwest. Later this week, Smith Tower will celebrate 100 years.

Inside one of Seattle's tallest buildings, visitors will still travel the 42 floors with an elevator operator.

Perhaps one of the most familiar is long-time operator Hamilton Beale.

"He’s a good guy and he’s been here longer than any other employee in the building," said Smith Tower Chief Building Engineer Cory Jackson.

With more than 15 years at Smith Tower, an office building known for its famous views of Seattle and legendary Chinese room, most of the tenants know Beale by name.
At the age of 73, Beale will tell you working keeps him young.

"If I stay home, I wouldn’t be doing anything, so I’d rather be working than be home doing nothing," said Beale.

For the Seattle landmark soon turning 100 years old, Beale is returning the favor with his smiles and daily song.

To celebrate its 100th anniversary on July 4th, admissions to see the Chinese room and observation deck will be 25 cents from July 4-6, the same price tourists paid on opening day in 1914.