Location: 1700 Marine Drive NE
mid-Century modern; Wohleb; nominated for Local Register (2022)
KGY Building, 1960s, KGY Archives
KGY Building today (2014), photo by Deb Ross
The KGY Building is one of the city’s most distinctive mid-Century modern buildings. The radio station is one of the oldest in the United States, licensed in 1916. It was originally run by Father Sebastian Ruth, and located on the campus of St. Martin’s College in Lacey. It then moved to the Capitol Park (“1063”) building at 11th and Capitol, and then to the Rockway-Leland Building in 1941. Eventually it outgrew this location, and in 1960 architect Stacey Bennett, a member of Robert Wohleb and Associates, was hired to design an “ultra-modern” building over the water at the far northern tip of Olympia’s central peninsula.
In 2022 the building was nominated for inclusion in the local heritage register; its register status was unresolved as of winter 2022-23 due to reservations expressed by the Port, the owner of the land on which the building sits.
Olympia Heritage inventory (includes an excellent and comprehensive history of the radio station)
Looking Back feature: Dick Nichols welcomed to KGY
Article about register dispute, accessed October 4, 2022
Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross