701 Alaskan Way (Pier 51)
Opened in 1961
Closed in 1981
by 1 person
The Polynesia cost $500,000 when it was built in 1961. Architect Raymond H. Peck designed the space for owner Dave Cohn. The Polynesia was situated on Pier 51 in downtown Seattle, overlooking Puget Sound; it must have had absolutely breathtaking views.
It closed twenty years later in 1981, when the government condemned the pier... they wanted more space to expand the ferry terminal (it's now part of the Colman Dock complex). The building with three A-frame roofs (minus interior fixtures & furnishings, which had been removed) was put onto a barge and moved to temporary site on the Duwamish River. Owner Cohn sought a new site for some time, and sadly, never found a suitable one. He eventually gave up, and allowed the Seattle Fire Department to burn the building down for practice(!).
Some of the furnishings for the Polynesia included banquettes carved by Witco, large carved posts (these posts were salvaged, uncarved, from the building that had existed on the pier before the Polynesia) by local artists Donald Keys and Donald Ingalls, and a life-size tiki carved from monkey pod from Manila.