Location: 1129 Washington St SE
mid-Century modern

archivesunderconstructionArchives Building under construction (from Capitol Way), 1963, Merle Junk photograph, Susan Parish Collection, Washington State Archives OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAArchives building today (from Washington Street) (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The 1963 Archives Building was one of the last to be built in the first phase of development of East Capitol Campus in the early 1960s. Erected just a year after the Cuban missile crisis, towards the end of the cold-war era Red Scare, the building doubled as an air raid shelter, being constructed almost entirely underground, with just one of its several floors accessible from ground level. The roof of the building is at ground level on Capitol Way, as can be seen in the photograph at above left. A series of ventilation tunnels, still in existence, led from key government offices across Capitol Way, into the Archives Building. The building is included in the mid-Century modern Walking Tour of Olympia, and was designed by Harmon, Pray, and Dietrich.

For more information follow these links:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory

mid-Century modern Walking Tour

2013 Article on design of building and tunnels, accessed November 18, 2014

Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross