Sinking Ship

The Sinking Ship is a multi-story parking garage in Pioneer Square, Seattle bound by James Street to the north, Yesler Way to the south, and 2nd Avenue to the east, and just steps away from the Pioneer Building on the site of the former Occidental Hotels and Seattle Hotel. After the Seattle Hotel was demolished in 1961, the Sinking Ship was built as part of a neighborhood redesign.

It was designed by Gilbert H. Mandeville (engineer) and Gudmund B. Berge (architect) of the Seattle firm Mandeville and Berge , and built in 1965. They also designed the Logan Building and an addition to the First Presbyterian Church downtown, the Ballard branch of Seattle Public Library, and two buildings at the Seattle World's Fair in 1962 (the Alaska Building and the Transportation 21 Building).

A writer for HistoryLink described the Sinking Ship as "that skid road parking garage whose nihilistic construction depresses the flatiron block where James Street and Yesler Way meet at Pioneer Square."

The parking garage is said to be haunted. It is owned by the Kubota family.

The Seattle Monorail Project proposed a monorail station at the site of the Sinking Ship, which it hoped to acquire through condemnation. The Kubota family disputed the condemnation lawsuit, stating their intention to build housing and retail at the site.

The garage has been made fun of many times in the past few decades. People were angry that a historic hotel was torn down, only to build what Henry Kubota’s daughter, Doris, called “the ugliest building in all of Seattle.” In 2001, on the garage’s roof, police and city officials watched and did nothing to stop the deadly Mardi Gras riot. Frommer’s travel guide calls the Sinking Ship “the monstrosity that prompted the movement to preserve the rest of this neighborhood.

However, in a turnabout of affairs, in 2019, the parking lot was named the "coolest" parking lot in the United States by the design publication Architizer and London-based “With its unique form and position along the street’s slope causing it to closely resemble the bow of a boat, the Sinking Ship is an iconic site in Seattle,” the contest’s sponsors wrote in a statement.