Seattle 100: The Cristalla Building

By Crai S. Bower
Seattle Homes & Lifestyles
January 2006

To design the first residential high-rise built downtown in 13 years, architect Blaine Weber needed to consider a saltwater swimming pool dating back to the early 1900s. The Crystal Pool, as it was known, complete with an ornate Italian terra cotta façade and a glass entrance dome, served as a swimming center at Second and Lenora until 1969. "We designed a 23-story building as a backdrop to the façade," Weber muses. "The project possessed the feeling of theater staging." Today, the Cristalla —with a rooftop park (including dog run) and personal media room for 12—sets the stage, believes Weber. "Seattle's at its induction point as the psychological shift toward living downtown continues to emerge."