Location: 1700 Marine Drive NE
mid-Century modern; Wohleb; nominated for Local  Register (2022)

KGYKGY Building, 1960s, KGY Archives OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKGY 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 fall 2022 due to opposition by the Port. 

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory (includes an excellent and comprehensive history of the radio station)

 mid-Century Modern Walking Tour

Looking Back feature: Dick Nichols welcomed to KGY

Article about register dispute, accessed October 4, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross