Graduate Seattle

Seattle, Washington | C.1931

Photo Credit: Accidentally Wes Anderson

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Studiously situated on the hills of the University District stands a hotel where “every room is a corner room.” Once acclaimed as one America’s most distinguished buildings in the 1930s, the 16-story Graduate Seattle is embracing its roots with homages to Seattle legends and nature-lovers who shaped its beginning. 

Wishing to build a hotel and community center nearby Washington University in Seattle, local officials raised funds to create a special structure. Architect Robert Reamer – who is famed for designing the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone Park, and the Moorish-style Mount Baker Theatre in nearby Bellingham – was selected to design a more modern space. For the university adjacent hotel, Reamer would dable in a sleek Art-Deco plan – after all, it was the height of the Jazz Age in Seattle. 

Reamer was able to experiment with shapes and patterns that didn’t fit his previous projects as he laid out the penthouse-topped 158-room building. With sweeping views of the mountains in the distance, Reamer wanted to make sure every room had an unobstructed view of Washington State’s brilliant horizon. And what better way to do that than making every room a corner room?

When it came time to name the hotel, students and community members alike offered up the moniker of beloved university professor, Edmond Meany. A renaissance man at heart, Meany also served a stint as a U.S. Representative for two terms, was a promoter of the state at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, a writer, a teacher, and most importantly—a mountain climber. Fond of the natural wonders beyond his doorstep, Meany was a founding member and president of The Mountaineers Club, a Seattle-based organization that to this day still promotes the conservation and exploration of the Pacific Northwest’s diverse ecosystem. 

Recognized as the Edmond Meany Hotel for many decades, Graduate Hotels would breathe new life into the historic location in 2017. Through renovation and revitalization, Graduate Hotels looked to the original idea of the hotel doubling as a community center. Today Washington University students can be found sipping coffee in the decked out lobby under the watchful eye of their beloved mascot Dubbs the husky.  And of course you can’t miss the colossal amp wall that was created from sound systems collected from performance venues throughout the city that acknowledge Seattle’s vibrant music scene. Pearl Jam anyone? 

No longer a penthouse suite, the tippy top of Graduate Seattle is today a rooftop bar aptly named the Mountaineering Club in honor of Mr. Meany. With some of the most spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains, the venue serves campsite inspired cuisine with adventurous cocktails that will delight any explorer. We recommend the indoor smores for a true recreational experience. 

From nautically themed decor, to seemingly endless views, and amp walls reverberating the stories of local venues, Graduate Hotels continues to celebrate the history of the Emerald City and those who have created its rugged and adventurous culture.

:memo: Written by: Seamus McMahon

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