New Building: Topping Out Ceremony!

The topping out ceremony is an ancient tradition in construction that is celebrated around the world when the final beam of a building is placed safely on the structure and construction is ready to proceed to the next phase.  Some of the earliest records of this tradition are found in pre-Dark Ages Scandinavian cultures that placed a tree on top to appease the tree dwelling spirits displaced by the building.[1]  Similar tales are found in ancient Egypt and China of celebrations that mark this milestone in the construction of a new building.

Seattle Unity had a topping out ceremony January 14th, celebrating the completion of the structural steel phase of construction as the final beam was placed above the future Meditation Hall.  There were representatives from Seattle Unity’s SUV, Design Team, Board of Trustees, Prayer Chaplains, Finance Team, and staff; as well as our architectural team from Olson Kundig and our General Contractor, SeaBay’s team.  Enjoy a video of the ceremony here:

January 14th, 2021, a small group of stakeholders from the SU community and construction team set the final beam on the structure. Photo credits: Gavin Argo with Olson Kundig.


We now move on to the next phase of construction with electrical, mechanical, and plumping placing sleeves on the ground floor of the structure in preparation for the concrete pour of level 1 of the building!

[1] David Power, “Topping Out – What do You Know About the Tradition?”. LinkedIn, November 16, 2014.


We also recently received a media mention by Seattle’s Daily Journal of Commerce.