The first cutters came to the Northwest in the 1850's and home ported in Port Angeles and Port Townsend. Cutters rarely came into Seattle until the late 1800's. Up through World War II the cutters were home ported all along the Seattle waterfront. After the war, cutters still tied up at Pier 70 and other moorings, in addition to the Navy's Pier 91 and the old "North Base" on the south side of the Ship Canal just inside the Locks acquired with the integration of the Lighthouse Service in 1939.
Pier 36 was built in 1925 by the Pacific Steamship Company which included (BLDG 1). The federal government acquired the location in 1940 for use as a regional Port of Embarkation. Pier 37 was constructed in 1941 to expand port facilities. In 1960, the facility was taken over by the Army Corps of Engineers and used as their district headquarters. In 1965, the Port of Seattle took title to both piers. In 1966, the Coast Guard got the opportunity to acquire the Pier 36 complex from the Army, and at last could have a home for all of the Seattle based units and their support facilities that were scattered all over Seattle.
In 1999, the Coast Guard took title to the building 7 warehouse from the Army Corps of Engineers & has been gradually renovating it for office & logistical uses. Pacific Steamship's building (BLDG 1) remains the hub for business at the facility. Base Seattle provides support to over 1,650 active duty & reserve CG employees assigned to numerous vessels & shore commands. As the only substantial military facility left in King County, Base Seattle also provides key support to over 30,000 local military retirees & family members from all of the armed services.