The Diller Hotel, now known as the Diller Room, in Seattle, Washington was known as one of the few luxury hotels in the early 1900s. This historic building is located on first and university across from the Seattle Museum of Modern Art, is one of the few remaining buildings left from the 1890s, a period of reconstruction and commercial development after the area was destroyed by the fire of 1889. The hotel was owned by Leonard Diller (1839-1901) and family and was designed by architect Louis L. Mendel.The Great Seattle FireThe Great Seattle Fire began on June 6, 1889 originating from an old carpenter shop on the corner of Front and Madison Street, known as the Pontius Block. Connected to the Pontius Block was the Denny Block made up of primarily wooden buildings which caught fire soon after it had begun. Historic hotels were destroyed in the fire such as the Rainier Hotel, the Rainier-Grand Hotel, and the Denny Hotel (all being large wood-framed buildings). The fire ended destroying a total of 36 blocks and four of the waterfront wharves coming to a total of 116 acres of destroyed land at an estimated cost of $20,000,000.After the devastation of the Seattle fire the city required building to be made primarily of masonry in order to achieve a “fire-resistant” city. This called for massive amounts of brick to be imported from Japan. The Diller Hotel was one of the first of the new brick buildings completed opening exactly one year after the fire on June 6, 1890. The main goal of the area was to promote residential living and developing suburban neighborhoods by providing public transportation of railways and cable cars. By 1900, more than 29 road railways and cable cars were in full operation. Residential areas did not develop in the area but hotels were being built due to immigrants, tourists, and entrepreneurs; within four years of the fire 63 hotels had opened.
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