During Seattle's rapid growth as a western Boom Town, the rapid construction of the Hoge Building -- 18 stories -- took less than a year to complete, and allowed it to be the tallest building in Seattle during the pre-WWI era. The building represents Seattle's transition from frontier town to metropolis, largely resulting from railroad arrival because of Seattle's access to Asia and Alaska.
Backstory and Context
The 1911 Hoge Building represents the wealth of America's early 20th-century financial elite (not far removed from America's "Gilded Age"), the significance of gold booms, the emergence of Seattle as a prominent trade port, and it is a prime example of architectural advances made possible by then Chicago School and others through the use of steel frame construction. Evidence of Seattle's rapid transition from Western frontier town to a major city is noted by the fact that the building sat in the same spot where It was only fifty-nine years earlier Carson Boren, Seattle's first (white) resident, assembled his house from split cedar logs. The Hoge Building took over that area, Boren, then 88-years-old, was still living in the area when the building was finished.
Background: Seattle's History
John Hoge and the Hoge Building
The Hoge Building represents a time in Seattle when captains of Industry capitalized on Seattle's potential (and reality) as a thriving trade port. The broader picture of U.S. history (and the World) can be seen in the Hoge story -- gold discovery, the opening of Japan and Asia, increased lumber, a nation stretching from coast-to-coast, and wealthy men building skyscrapers at a time when the technology was allowing cities to literally grow upwards.
Berner, Richard C. and Paul Dorpat. Seattle 1900 - 1920: From Boomtown, Through Urban Turbulence, To Restoration. Seattle: Charles, 1991.
National Park Service: The National Register of Historic Places. "Hoge Building Nomination Form." 1979. https://npgallery.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/NRHP/Text/83003339.pdf