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Fairmont Olympic Hotel

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()


The glamour, optimism, and excess of the Roaring Twenties were on full display as over two thousand guests joined the Olympic Hotel as it celebrated its Grand Opening on December 6, 1924.The evening was the culmination of a decade-long campaign led by members of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce to secure a world-class hotel in their growing city. Territorial University, soon known as the University of Washington, had been located on this land in its early years.

Fairmont Olympic Hotel lobby
The Olympic: The Story of Seattle's Landmark Hotel, 1924-2004
Civil rights advocated march in favor of equal housing in 1964. Click the link below to learn more about this campaign.


The hotel was built at the location of the original site of the first campus of the University of Washington, which had been known as the Territorial University in its early years. The university moved in 1895 but still owned this and several other tracts downtown. Eager to promote the city and secure revenue, the university agreed to lease the land and construction began in 1923.

Like many of the grand downtown hotels, the Olympic struggled during the Great Depression but remained the center of Seattle's social scene until changing consumer tastes and movement away from the city center placed the historic building and business in danger. However, the hotel and its Italian Renaissance architecture was restored in the 1980s. Acquired by the Fairmont Hotel company in 2003, this historic hotel was renovated once again between 20014 and 2016. 


Alan Stein, The Olympic: The Story of Seattle's Landmark Hotel, 1924-2004, University of Washington Press, 2005.

411 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101
  • Architecture and Historical Buildings
  • Business and Economic Development
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This location was created on 2016-01-13 by David J. Trowbridge .   It was last updated on 2016-12-28 by Clio Admin .

This entry has been viewed 2419 times within the past year


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