Credited with changing the Seattle skyline by designing the city’s tallest building, Chester Loren Lindsey, holds a unique place in architectural history of the Pacific Northwest.
Lindsey, a native of Yakima, received his Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degree from Washington State University in 1949. Upon graduation he garnered valuable experience as a designer and draftsman in a variety of offices. He began his career in California working for the C.F. Braun & Co. and then for architect, Benjamin Parker. In 1951, Lindsey returned to the Pacific Northwest and worked with Daniel Lamont and Lester Fey. By 1952, he was working for the engineering firm of Hadley & Hadley, consulting on industrial buildings.
With valuable experience at hand, Lindsey opened his own independent practice in 1958. Over the next fifty plus years, he designed numerous office buildings throughout the Northwest. Projects included office buildings on Queen Anne Hill, high-rises on Fourth Avenue, and approximately a dozen shopping centers, most of them with developer Martin Selig. Notable projects include the Northgate Executive Center (1974), Fourth and Vine Building (1976), Sedgwick James Building (1979) and Metropolitan Park East (1988).
His most famous project was the design of the Columbia Seafirst Center/Bank of America Tower in downtown Seattle, completed in 1985. The $200 million, 76-story bank tower was once the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
Lindsey was known for developing young talent, including such architects as Paul Brenna, Curt Beattie and David McDaniels. He passed away on August 20, 2003 at the age of 76 in Seattle.
By Michael Houser, State Architectural Historian - July 2007