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1988: WSCC officially opens with a ribbon-cutting by Governor Booth Gardner

CELEBRATING 30 YEARS

An honest-to-goodness success story for our state, region and city, the Washington State Convention Center is completing its 30th year of operation in 2018. Since opening in 1988, the Center has maintained a fiscally responsible, self-sustaining operation that contributes significant economic benefits for the City of Seattle, King County, and the State of Washington.

WSCC Timeline Highlights 1988–2018


'88

The Washington State Convention Center officially opens with a ribbon-cutting by Governor Booth Gardner and its first scheduled convention, Meeting Planners International

'89

The Center’s public art program – one of the first of its kind in the nation – is established with funding by Washington State’s Percent for Arts program

'90

Legislature authorizes $3 million of Center funds for low income housing, recognizing the Center’s long-standing commitment to provide affordable housing in its neighborhood

'90

WSCC’s public art gallery opens with “Moscow: Treasures of Traditions” and is viewed by 250,000 guests

'91

Conversion/expansion construction is completed, with the National Governors’ Association the first to use the entire expanded facility

'92

First retail shops and restaurants open for business in the Galleria

'93

The largest gathering of heads-of-state outside the General Assembly of the United Nations is held at WSCC for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference

'94

Net cash flow from the Center to Washington State tops $10 million for the first time

'95

Washington State Legislature authorizes expansion, to double the available event space by building a connected facility across Pike Street

'96

The historic Eagles Auditorium Building is restored, with an initial subsidy provided through grants from the WSCC to provide 44 units of affordable housing and a major theater complex

'97

ARAMARK (the Center’s exclusive catering provider) receives the “Best On-Premise Catered Event of the Year” award from the National Association of Catering Executives

'98

WSCC celebrates 10 years of extraordinary service

'99

Expansion project breaks ground in May, adding 105,000 square feet of exhibition space across Pike Street

'00

Construction continues on the expansion across Pike Street

'01

Formal ceremonies mark the opening of the expansion and a grand new entrance lobby at 7th and Pike, housing “Lebeg” by Seattle artist Ann Gardner

'02

After more than 20 years of service, James R. Ellis (pictured) retires as Chair of the WSCC Board of Directors, succeeded by Frank K. Finneran

'03

Net food and beverage revenues exceeds $3 million for the first time; culinary team continues to locally source menu items

'04

The popular Northwest Flower and Garden Show continues its run as the largest consumer show held at WSCC

'05

The Tasting Room opens inside the WSCC kitchen, offering the Sales team an elegant space to showcase its catering selection

'06

WSCC sets its highest total attendance record with 497,452 convention delegates

'07

The Center begins composting all food waste and food-soiled packaging

'08

Washington State Convention Center celebrates 20 years of excellence

'09

Construction on The Conference Center – a stand-alone, executive-quality meeting facility for regional and national conferences – continues

'10

The Conference Center opens at 8th and Pike

'11

John Christison (pictured), WSCC President, retires after 22 years and is replaced by current WSCC CEO and President Jeffrey A. Blosser

'12

WSCC named “Best Convention Venue in Washington” by readers of “Northwest Meetings and Events” magazine

'13

WSCC celebrates its 25th anniversary

'13

Streetscape project is completed, adding a variety of native trees, shrubs, and ferns, as well as lighting and sidewalk improvements, to Pike between 7th and 9th Avenues

'14

Two new event spaces open on Level 4 as dining options for meeting planners

'15

The My Macy’s Holiday Parade begins inside WSCC exhibit halls, where floats, school buses, and students gather to prepare the parade

'16

WSCC’s Pastry Chef is one of the top ten finalists in Callebout’s, the largest chocolate manufacturer in the world, “Great Chocolate Stories” competition

'17

WSCC is awarded LEED Silver certification for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance, continuing its industry leadership in sustainability efforts

'17

The Level 2 art gallery is dedicated as the Phyllis Lamphere Gallery, in honor of her prominent role in the foundation of the WSCC Art Program

'17

The WSCC commits to the provision of more than $92 million in public benefits through the Addition project, focusing on affordable housing, enhancements to open spaces, and improvements for neighborhood pedestrians and cyclists

'18

WSCC celebrates its 30th anniversary and will break ground later this summer on construction of the Addition

Thanks for 30!

Thank you from our staff, working day and night to provide extraordinary service: