Locks Administation Building National Historic Site

At the Heart of the Locks is the Historic Administration Building, still providing quality working space for key employees.

Administration phone # 206-789-2622


Completed in 1916, it was built to house the offices of the project’s administrators, as well as the pumps used to drain the locks dry during maintenance. In addition to these functions, the Administration Building serves as the architectural focal point for the project.

The Administration Building was designed by consulting architect, Carl F. Gould, a regionally renowned architect responsible for some of Seattle’s finest historic buildings. Classically trained at the famed, École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Gould ornamented the exterior of the building with details from the classical order, including columns (pilasters), pediments, and fluted brackets.


The building’s interior is no less richly detailed, but here the same classical details are crafted out of polished oak. The oval skylight above, filters natural light through its stained glass. The walls feature extensive oak moulding, which frame many excellent photographs form the history of the project. The balcony’s cast iron railing is ornamented with both eagles and federal shields, symbolic of the government's role in constructing the Locks. The terrazzo floor is inlaid with an oval of black Alaskan marble, mirroring the skylight above, and containing at its center the brass castle emblem of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The building is open to Locks guided tours only

The Friends of the Ballard Locks have done extensiver research on the Locks and Administration Building.  For access to history archives contact the visitor center