King County Courthouse

King County Courthouse (2007)

The King County Courthouse is the administrative building housing the judicial branch of King County, Washington government. It is located in downtown Seattle, Washington, just north of Pioneer Square. The 1916 structure houses the King County Prosecuting Attorney, the King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO), the King County Council, the King County Law Library, King County Work and Education Release, and courtrooms for the King County Superior Court and the Seattle District Court.[1] It is located just north of City Hall Park at 516 Third Avenue, between Dilling Way and James Street.

An enclosed skybridge connects the courthouse to the King County Jail, and a pedestrian tunnel connects it to the King County Administration Building.


In 1911, King County voters first turned down, then approved plans to build a new structure for county government. The site settled on had once been owned by city founder Henry Yesler.

Architect A. Warren Gould proposed a twenty-three story tower to handle anticipated growth in county functions, but the county commissioners preferred a more modest beginning. Starting in 1914, a five-story steel frame and reinforced concrete structure was built, and dedicated May 4, 1916 as the five-story City-County Building. In 1930,[2] six floors were added, and later a three story 'attic'. Modernization efforts in 1967 added air conditioning and heavily modified the appearance of the building. In 1987, the King County Courthouse was registered as a King County landmark, which limits the style of future remodeling of public areas to restoring the original appearance.

After the 2001 Nisqually earthquake the Courthouse was seismically retrofitted. The extensive damage done to older buildings in the area by the 6.8 quake pushed the County to move forward with this project. Upon completion, murals and a treatment of the marble floor on the first floor of the Courthouse were noted decorative touches.


  2. King County Court House dedication plaque.

Coordinates: 47°36′10″N 122°19′50″W / 47.60278°N 122.33056°W / 47.60278; -122.33056

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