Seattle architect and city planner Richard Smith has spent the past five years putting together a website that gives readers an idea of how the city’s architectural heritage evolved over time.
Smith started out with a list of some of the most iconic buildings in the city that he says have been under threat.
He now has an online timeline of the history of the Seattle architecture community, showing the buildings that have stood the test of time and which have undergone some of Seattle city’s most important architectural changes.
Here are some of those most famous buildings in chronological order: The new Seattle International Trade Center, completed in 1988.
The first building in the Seattle Convention Center complex, the new Trade Center opened in 1988, the year Seattle was incorporated as a city.
Seattle University’s first building, the First Presbyterian Church, opened in the 1930s.
After the completion of the First Lutheran Church in 1960, the building was torn down and replaced by a new church.
Beth Hodge, the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for a journalism award, died in 1971.
Hodge was the first female reporter to work for the Seattle Times.
Atrium at Seattle Center, which opened in 1981.
Sidney Alexander, a founding member of the City of Seattle and one of the city and state’s first black mayors, died of heart failure in 1983.
In 1992, Seattle became the first U.S. city to ban smoking in all workplaces.
Rudy Fong, the city planner who would later become mayor, died after suffering a stroke in 1989.
George Wallace, a political activist and founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, died at age 81 in 2001.
Michael Jordan, a basketball legend and a three-time NBA champion, died on July 4, 2004, at age 85.
Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton died in a fire at his residence in Washington, D.C., on July 8, 2011.
John Paulson, a U.K. Treasury secretary and former New York City mayor, became the most powerful man in the world on March 18, 2012.
Charles Koch, the billionaire founder of Koch Industries, died May 25, 2012, at the age of 84.
“The Big House,” the home of the Oklahoma City Thunder, opened as the tallest building in downtown Oklahoma City in 1991.
Penny Lane, the former mayor of Seattle, died February 10, 2013, at her home in Bellevue, Washington.
Lantern sculpture by Paul McCartney hangs in front of the building that housed the City Council.
Miles Davis, who is widely regarded as the father of rock music, died July 16, 2017, at his home in New Jersey.
Vince Gill, who has been credited with inventing the modern computer, died June 23, 2018, at 81.
Dennis Rodman, the basketball player and former South Korean national basketball team member, died April 11, 2019, at Los Angeles City Hall.
Stephen Hawking, a British astrophysicist and professor at Cambridge University, died March 27, 2020, at home in the U.k.
Leonard David, a physicist, died August 3, 2020.
Philip Hamilton, a prominent member of Congress, died September 16, 2020 at the ripe old age of 90.
Peter Thiel, a billionaire venture capitalist, died October 16, 2021.
David Letterman, who hosted the show “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” died November 20, 2021, at a Los Angeles nursing home.
Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, died January 21, 2022, at 78.
Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, died November 24, 2022.
Jared Kushner, the husband of Ivanka Trump, died December 7, 2022 at the Mayo Clinic.
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, died Friday, January 25, 2023.
Steven Spielberg, the director of the upcoming “Lincoln,” died February 12, 2024, at 87.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, died Feb. 25, 2024.
Andrew Jackson, the sixth president of South Carolina, died Sept. 10, 2024 at his bedside.
Richard Nixon, the 42nd president of U.s., died Sept., 12, 2025, at Graceland, Louisiana.
Bill Clinton, the 45th president of this country, died Oct. 15, 2025.
Edwin “Buddy” Busby, a boxer, died Dec. 7, 2025 at age 82.
Barack Obama, the 44th president, died Jan. 6, 2021 at the White House.
Jimmy Carter, the 50th president and the first president in American history to lead a major party, died Aug. 3, 2021 in a nursing home in Florida.