Smiley face

Bell’s Town

Hit the Bricks and Explore the Legacy

This is first in a series covering Belltown’s buildings and its history.

Austin A. Bell Building, Elmer Fisher, 1890, renovated 1997 by the Snell Partnership,

2324 First Avenue

Photo Courtesy of the University of Washington Archives


City founder William Bell left his mark on Seattle in many ways.  Olive and Virginia streets  named for his daughters, and the Austin A. Bell building constructed as a memorial to his son.  Its Victorian façade features includes Gothic Revival touches that were typical of the “new” architecture after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889.

In 1997, the Snell Partnership rebuilt the building, leaving only the street face.  The structure behind the façade is completely new.

The Bell Building is on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Seattle Landmarks of historical sites, buildings, vehicles, vessels, and street clocks.

The complete tour is available on desktop at and for your mobile device at  A copy of the print walking brochure can be obtain by replying to this post.  Multiple copies of the walking brochure are available for Belltown businesses.  Please give the Belltown Business Association a call at 206.728.5627.

Photo Courtesy of Greg Caldwell

Photo Courtesy of Greg Caldwell

This tour was made possible by dedicated volunteers: Kevin Wildermuth (IT and web designer) Greg Caldwell (, Roberta Miner, Jane Savard, Lindsey Willar, Josh Watts (Belltown Business Association’s Administrator), and a grant from the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.