“Historical Buildings, Bridges, etc… in the Spokane Area rich in Masonry Applications”
The Glover Mansion est. 1888
The Glover Mansion was designed by Spokane architect Kirtland cutter for James Glover, known as the father of spokane. It was Cutters first major commission, done when he was 23 years old.James Glover arrived in Spokane in 1872 from Portland Oregon with $6000. He quickly began purchasing property in and around the future downtown area. 160 acres in all on the south bank of the river up the hill. He made most of his money in real estate and started the first bank in the city. The Mansion was finished in 1888, one year before the Spokane fire that destroyed downtown. It is 12000 total square feet of space with 8 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. It is constructed entirely of granite from quarries around the little Spokane river. There are 8 different types of wood used in the house from northwestern red fir to Minnesota oak and Spanish cherry. When he and his wife Susan moved into the house it was just the two of them and 12 domestic servants on the third floor.Most of what you see on the first floor is original including the wall fabrics in the dining room and on the mezzanine. The blue fabric in the great hall is around 70 years old. It replaced a copper colored fabric that you can see running across the top of the wall on the second floor above you. We would love to replace it one day and have found the original pattern in England. The original heat supply was a wood and coal fired boiler in the basement that supplied radiant heat. It was taken out of service (it had been converted to gas) in 2005 and replaced it with a high-pressure HVAC system. You see the holes in the floor and the walls above. One summer without air-conditioning was enough! There was also an early attempt at air-conditioning in the house. A manifold of pipes that had cold well water pumped through them and a fan that shot cold air though the vents in the floor of the great hall and the dining room. The original lot ran to the top of the hill behind the house up to Sumner, west about 200 feet and east another 100 yards. Over successive ownership it was sold off down to its present size of 1/2 acre. Glover himself only owned the house for 5 years and lost it in the panic of 1893. He was said to have lost over $1.5 million during that time. Kirtland Cutter then designed him a more modest bungalow on summit blvd on the north side of town. He lived there until his death in 1921. As far as we can tell there have been 8 owners of the property in 128 years. Quite a few when you consider that two of the owners, The Welsh family and the Unitarian church combined to own it from 1908 – 1992. A total of 84 of 128 years. Some other fun facts. Rub your hands against the top of the lions mouths on the fireplace. You will see that one is worn and the other still has ridges. Its amazing that kind of detail and that one of the lions would get that much more attention.Mrs Welch had the peacocks on the ceiling painted over because she felt they were bad luck. They were later restored. Everything else on the ceiling, a combination of water colors and oil are original. The elevator, which has been modernized was the first residential elevator in Spokane. It was installed in 1908 works well and is amazingly slow.
Minnehaha Health Spa and Resort est. 1893
When Edgar J. Webster came to Spokane in 1883 he planned to practice law. He built his summer home on the outskirts of the growing city of Spokane in a place called Minnehaha. The stone building still stands in the park today. While rumors about the house, abound in fact, it was once a Health Spa and Resort.In the 1893, the Spokane Daily Chronicle noted that the “Athletic Club Grounds…are to be laid out in fine shape at Minnehaha Park.” The amenities included pavilions, refreshment booths, athletic club rooms, and ground. There were swings and croquet for children and pleasure boats for older people. The newspaper boasted, “the park is strictly a temperance resort and no intoxicating liquors or objectionable characters all be tolerated on the grounds.”A 1895 article described, “a picturesque prize fight at Minnehaha park.” A boxing match was held at Minnehaha. “The men were matched a week ago and the tip was given they would meet up on the turf near Minnehaha park yesterday afternoon.” It was Dick Case “the Yakima Kid” versus Mark Freeman, “the Spokane pugilist,” and Yakima won the day.Finally a sad article appeared in the Spokane Daily Chronicle with the headline, “Dance ends in Blaze, Old Minnehaha Inn is now a heap of ash.” The famous resort, the Minnehaha Inn, was lost in a fire on December 1, 1899.
First Congregational Church (Westminster Church) est. 1890
First Congregational Church (now called Westminster Congregational Church), located next to Lewis and Clark High School, has a long history. In 1838 when Congregationalists first arrived in the Spokane area. A group working with the local Indian tribes coalesced over the decades, eventually forming a church in 1879 that met in the home of Henry (H.T.) Cowley, who also became the first pastor, then met for two years in the local schoolhouse.The church built its first building (a small wood structure) at the corner of Sprague and Barnard in 1881, but sold it shortly after the Great Fire of Spokane in 1889. In the aftermath the members sold the land and moved to the present location, building a new church in 1890. This structure was built of stone, sending the intentional message that the church was committed to the rebuilding of the city and there to stay. The bell installed in the tower was a gift from Rev. Cushing Eells, one of the founding members from the earliest period, and it served not only to call Sunday-morning worshipers, but as the warning bell for the Spokane Fire Department.The building has evolved significantly over the years, most obviously in 1927 with the reinforcement of the main spire on the northwest corner (which altered its conical shape to create the current square shape) and the addition of a tower on the east corner where there was originally an open porch. These alterations were undertaken primarily to expand the interior space; aside from the additions, the exterior stone was left intact. This is important, as the uneven coursework is an unusual, even iconic feature that sets the church apart from others.The Church has been central to Spokane society for almost 130 years, hosting not just Sunday services, but many other notable events including revival meetings, holiday rallies, and community events. Having benefited from grants by the Spokane Preservation Advocates’ Heritage Fund, First Congregational Church is still in excellent condition, and it remains a beloved Spokane landmark.
Spokane County Courthouse est. 1894
Although it looks like an old, romantic European castle, it is actually the place where the county’s first public hanging took place. On March 30, 1900 George Webster was hung in the courthouse courtyard for the murder of a woman in 1897.In 1893, ground was broken to build the new courthouse, hoping to stimulate the economy after the financial panic of that year. The Board of County Commissioners opened a design competition, and a prize would be awarded for the best plan.The winning architect was a 29-year-old named W. A. Ritchie. In spring of 1894, building began, using locally manufactured brick for the walls and imported slate shingles for the roof. However, it wasn’t all smooth building from then. In March 1895, construction was suspended due to a disagreement between Richie and the superintendent of construction. Despite this hiccup, the building was finally finished and all officials moved in my November 20, 1895.Many say that the courthouse closely resembles two 16th century chateaux in France, the Chateau de Chambord and Chateau d’Azay Le Rideau. French Renaissance design is obvious with its grand towers and beautiful craftsmanship in the iron and brickwork. The center tower is now lighted at night, and the entire building is considered a masterpiece.In 2006, the center tower was renovated and the roof was replaced. The total cost of renovation was about $2,000,000 with half of the money coming from a state grant from the Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation. Today, the courthouse houses the offices of the Board of County Commissioners, Assessor, Treasurer, Auditor, Clerk, and Superior Court Courtrooms, offices, and support services.
The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist est. 1929
In the 1920s, Episcopal Bishop Edward Makin Cross endeavored to create a successor to the All Saints Cathedral, which stood Downtown. He contracted the services of congregation member Harold C. Whitehouse. Whitehouse, a veteran architect responsible for many of Spokane’s buildings, toured Europe doing a study of cathedral design. For St. John’s, he settled on an English Gothic style with some French influences.Bishop Cross selected a vacant lot upon which famous Spokanite Francis Cook’s house used to stand. The first section of the Church to be built, the Nave leading to the high altar, was completed in late 1929. Ten days after the first mass was held at St. John’s, the stock market crashed, sending the country into a long depression. This put an end to the construction for nearly two decades, when the tower, sanctuary and transepts were finally added.The cathedral’s stained-glass windows each tell a different story, from the Book of Genesis to Revelations. To the right of the high altar, the baptism of famous Native American resident Spokane Garry is depicted. The ceiling of the main crossing consists of a pattern of Stars of David, embedded in a material of compressed corn husks. The cathedral’s pipe organ stretches from one end of the 257 foot room to the other.The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist has become a Spokane landmark. Its Gothic tower looks down on the city from the south hill, its style contrasting greatly with the surrounding buildings. After almost a century of construction, the building is still incomplete. Plans for new windows and additions make it certain that this Spokane landmark will continue to grow and evolve.
The Monroe Street Bridge est. 1911
The river that lent its name to Spokane has also been a barrier to the development of the city. No sooner was Spokane established than city fathers looked for places to bridge the raging currents. Today’s Monroe Street Bridge, a Spokane landmark, is the third bridge on this site.The first Monroe Street Bridge was constructed of wood and built with horses and wagons in mind. The city, the Cable Railway Company, and property owners along Monroe Street split the cost of $42,500.00 to build the bridge. A new Monroe Street Bridge constructed of steel was completed in 1890. The steel bridge represented a step towards modernity, and was completed just in time to accommodate an unprecedented time of expansion for the city. The bridge boasted updates such as overhead lighting and the ability to accommodate doubled-tracked streetcars. But the new bridge soon became a source of controversy.It was immediately apparent that the bridge vibrated heavily, perhaps dangerously, with any sort of traffic. In 1905 the bridge was deemed unsafe by National Good Roads Association, and the next year a bridge expert labeled the bridge an accident waiting to happen: “Should a street car run off the track, or a bunch of steers be driven over it, the whole thing might collapse.” In 1907 the elephants of the Ringling Brother’s Circus refused to walk across the shaky span. Three years later the south side of the bridge collapsed after a mudslide.Spokane had plenty of trouble with its bridges in those days. In 1915, the Division Street Bridge collapsed, dropping a street car into the river resulting in 5 deaths and twelve injuries. These tragedies fueled an intense demand for safer concrete-arch bridges.A grand new Monroe Street Bridge was designed by Spokane City Engineer John Chester Ralston, and Spokane’s most celebrated architects: Kirtland K. Cutter and Karl G. Malmgren. Construction over the 140-feet deep and 1,500 feet wide gorge was challenged by severe windstorms, high water levels, and swift-moving currents. Two laborers died and over fifty were injured. Ralston was removed from the project after he was accused of stealing the design from Rocky River Bridge in Cleveland, and replaced by his assistant. Today’s Monroe Street Bridge opened November 23, 1911 with over 3,000 Spokane citizens on hand to celebrate. It was the world’s largest concrete arch-bridge.In 1914, just a few years after completion of this visual landmark, the city fathers permitted a railroad bridge to be built right over the top of it, marring the beauty of the structure. The Great Northern railroad bridge remained in place for over half a century, until it was removed as part of the preparations for Expo 74.Today the Monroe Street Bridge today looks very much as it did in 1911, thanks to the removal of the railroad bridge and a 2003-2005 reconstruction project. Reconstruction was necessary because by the 1990s the bridge had begun to drop large chucks of concrete into the river below. The rebuilding preserved the structural features from the original 1911 design, including Cutter and Malmgren’s life-size buffalo skulls, wagon wheels, wagon pavilions, and chain handrails that embody the pioneer spirit of Spokane’s earliest settlers.
Vista House atop Mount Spokane est. 1933
Mt. Spokane’s historic Vista House is located at the summit of the mountain, just a few steps away from the top of Chair 1 and is open to the public on weekends and holidays.The Vista House was constructed in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as “an excellent example of the naturalistic design principles that the CCC inherited from the National Park Service” in which “stone and timber structures were meant to emerge from their surroundings as if they were expressions of the site”.The Vista House was renovated by the State Park in 2002. The lodge was completely renovated in 2002 and opened to the public. It is constructed of native granite stone and timber framing. The great stone fireplace is the center of the structure, beckoning visitors to enjoy a warm drink and put their feet up in front of the fire.Hot beverages, soups, chili, and wraps are available when the Vista House is open on weekends and holidays.
The Spokane Flour Mill est. 1895
The city of Spokane began as a small cluster of buildings on the south side of the falls, focused around saw mills and and later flour mills. This is why the city was originally named Spokane Falls. After the 1889 fire had burned much of the city it was decided to build a new mill on the north side of the falls. The mill was finished in 1895 but it wasn’t put into operation until 1900. The reason for the delay was lawsuit over ownership of the mill. The previous owner, Simon Oppenheimer, went bankrupt and went off the grid. The ownership of this mill passed to James Glover and a series of complex lawsuits between him, the city of Spokane and A Dutch financial firm named Kantoor soon insued. Eventually Kantoor won the suits and the mill was able to enter operation. This was one of the most spectacular and complex lawsuits in Spokane history.The mill worked regularly until 1972 when it, after many years of service, closed its doors. This was not the end of the Flour Mill though. Soon, in 1973 the mill was converted into a shopping center in preparation for EXPO ’74. This was one of the first examples in Spokane of a historic building being preserved and reused for a new function. Its location was directly next to the north entrance to the EXPO, which got it much publicity during the EXPO. It contains many interesting little shops including Tobacco World and Olde Joe Clark’s Photography Studio which have been there since it was converted. At first, much of the original equipment was left in place, but was later removed. The Flour Mill serves as a reminder of the industrial origins of Spokane and of the importance of water power throughout the history of Spokane. Its conversion to a shopping center has maintained the location’s viability while allowing it to continue to serve as a reminder of the city’s history.
The Review Tower Building est. 1890
The imposing stature of the Review Tower at the corner Riverside and Monroe stands as a reminder of different times. The late 1800’s were the time when newspapers were king. Long before radio and television, before major networks came to dominate national news, newspapers in towns like Spokane fought it out over readers, advertisements, and public opinion.Originally begun in March, 1890, and completed in October of the following year, the Review Building and tower became the home of the Spokane Falls Review, a joint business venture between the Portland Oregonian and A. M. Cannon. Although today it stands in the shadow of the federal building across the street, when it was completed, the six story brick building dominated the skyline in the wake of the fire of 1889, and would remain the tallest building in town for the next ten years. As a Spokane landmark, the Review Tower projected an air of power, respectability, and reliability, all things which the owners of the Spokane Falls Review wanted Spokane’s citizens to associate with their paper.Indeed, the enormous building was intended to intimidate its competition in the newspaper wars, but the Review Building was actually bigger than the newspaper needed. So much bigger, in fact, that the building was home to two newspapers and the Hotel Review at one point, until the Chronicle moved across the street and the hotel was closed. The constant warring left the two big newspapers in Spokane, The Spokesman and the Review, weakened and financially strapped, forcing them to merge together into one paper.Despite this move to save the papers, when the financial panic of 1893 struck, the newly christened Spokesman-Review was hit hard, dropping from twelve pages down to four. Rather than pull out of the venture, W. H. Cowles, one of the owners of the paper, invested further and acquired the newspaper entirely for himself. In the span of just a few years, the Spokane newspaper wars had whittled the field down from two major newspapers with numerous owners to just one newspaper owned by just one man. Cowles had won, and his Spokesman-Review would remain the city’s premier newspaper to the present day.
The Great Northern Clock Tower est. 1902
It is one of the few surviving remnants of Havermale Island as it was from the first years of the 20th century until Expo ’74. Though it is one of the only remains of Spokane’s industrial Havermale Island, it stands today as a reminder of the railroads that built Spokane into a thriving city.Spokane, like many towns in the American West, was transformed by its rail industry. The city’s growth depended on the commerce and capital of railroads. Early on, Spokane relied heavily on the rails potential to bring in tourists and new residents. The Northern Pacific rail line connected the small town of Spokane to its web of routes in 1884. In its own traveler’s guide of 1889, the railroad spent more time praising bucolic fishing and the roar of the falls than the city’s industrial potential. Spokane was a picturesque tourist destination among the basalt columns and pines.Naturally, local boosters saw it differently. In their own promotional guide, “the date from which the growth of the city is to be counted” was 1884 rather than 1873. And, further, that growth would be in the manufacturing of timber and agricultural products and not tourism. Even more important was the rail connection to the mining districts of northeastern Washington and northern Idaho. To boosters, this made Spokane far more important than “Denver, Salt Lake, Butte or Helena” because “those cities are drawing on Spokane’s tributary mining districts for supplies of ore.”Within a decade, local rail lines began to radiate out to the mining and agricultural hinterlands and additional transcontinental lines passed in or close to the city. Men poured in to work on these projects. From Spokane, the Central Washington Railway embraced the country of the Big Bend of the Columbia in 1890. Shooting northward, the Spokane International Railway crossed the Canadian border and joined with the Canadian Pacific line and the mining country of the Canadian Kootenays. The Great Northern Railroad sited a rail yard at Hillyard and a grand station in central Spokane. In 1914, the Union Pacific and Milwaukee Road finished construction on a viaduct which hugged the Spokane River before crossing to a new artificial hill on its north bank.The completion of this viaduct, even though it further hid not only the falls but also the new Monroe Street Bridge, was greeted with great fanfare by the community and the railroad companies. Unknown to Spokanites, it was also to be the last hurrah of the rail boom. As new construction slowed, so too did the frantic growth of the city. Trains would clatter and bustle over the Spokane River for another fifty years, transforming the city by increments rather than leaps and bounds.By the 1970s, many began to see the heavy downtown presence of the rails as a nuisance. The major rail yards established on the banks of the Spokane River were removed to make way for Expo ’74. Today, Riverfront Park stands where the heart of Spokane’s industry once stood. The Great Northern clock tower reminds visitors of the city’s history and its booming rails.
Mukagawa College/Fort George Wright – Greystones Building est. 1938
Different than many of the basalt structures in the Spokane area, the Greystones building features large blocks of basalt rather than the more commonly seen rubble. The grey color of the stones creates a uniform appearance despite the variety of shapes and sizes of the basalt blocks. This form of stone construction differs from the stacked appearance of many other basalt buildings in its geometric pattern and visible mortar between the stones.Although Fort George Wright was established at the end of the 19th century, the Greystones building was not constructed until 1938. The construction of this stone building was done by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC while they were living at the Fort. The CCC was involved in many improvement projects in the region, including the construction of many stone walls and buildings showcasing a high level of skill in masonry evidenced by the longevity of the structures they created.
Manito Park Stone Bridge est. 1930
Made of basalt rock and an interior of poured concrete, this basalt bridge graces the paths of one of Spokane’s most well known parks. Characteristic of the Arts and Crafts movement, this bridge closely resembles many of the other designs of the Olmsted Brothers that would be featured in parks across the city. Throughout the rest of Manito Park there are additional basalt features and structures that were added at the same time the bridge was constructed in the 1920s. Prominent master stone mason Domenico Peirone is credited with the construction of many of the basalt walls, buildings and the stone bridge in the park.
Wilbur-Hahn Building est. 1916
Built in 1916, this Craftsman style home features basalt rubble around it’s exterior as well as throughout the accompanying grounds. With a complex floor plan, an imposing front porch and veranda, the original caretaker’s cottage and a walled driveway, the Wilbur-Hahn House is an extravagant example of native stone construction. Much of the stone work was likely executed by Domenico Peirone, a master stone mason responsible for multiple other stone structures around the city. After some restoration work, the home has been returned to its former glory.
Mckinley School est. 1902
Education is a cornerstone of great cities, and Spokane is no different. The elegance of buildings like the McKinley School testify to the value that early Spokanites attributed to public education.The McKinley School, named after President McKinley, was built in 1902 on the corner of Sprague and Napa. This beautiful brick structure once stood on a large, well-manicured lawn. Containing 8 rooms originally, a 9-room addition was added in 1903. The school was open to both boys and girls and enrollment reached 585 in 1909 As war loomed in 1917, the McKinley school added a military training program to its curriculum, and girls were sent off to nearby Stevens School in their 7th and 8th grades. Though practice was limited to unarmed drills and exercises, it was one of the first military school programs in Spokane grade schools and much was made of it.At some point in its early years, the McKinley School earned the distinction of being a junior high for ‘difficult boys’ often taking in students that other schools either couldn’t or didn’t want to handle. In 1928 McKinley lost its junior high students to Libby and Havermale but continued to have elementary classes.McKinley School closed in 1962. According to the press of the time the chief reasons were the aging of the East Central populace and dwindling numbers of children. Three schools were closed that year and remaining children were transferred to schools such as Parkwater.Today the building is still standing and remains a beautiful structure both inside and out.
Aubrey L. Parkway Basalt Rock Walls est 1930
Constructed in the 1930, the Aubrey White Parkway rock walls have stood for decades along the Spokane River. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), these dry stacked walls were carefully assembled and pieced together creating a stable structure that did not require the use of mortar. Sections of the walls have been repaired using a lower quality of craftsmanship than the original construction, making these portions easy to identify. Named for Aubrey White, a prominent Spokane resident and strong supporter of the development of city parks, the walls were built under the supervision of the Spokane Parkways Association as a part of the New Deal programs of the 1930s
Fort George Wright Paint & Oil Storehouse est.1934
Overall a rather unimpressive building, this storehouse was constructed in 1934 to resit the possibility of fire due to its intended use of storing flammable products. The exterior of the structure maintains a rough and primitive appearance created by the use of basalt rubble and haphazardly applied mortar. The storehouse has experienced few changes through the years beyond the closing of the window openings. Operating at one time as an art gallery, the building now functions as the Fort George Wright museum.
Schade Brewery est 1902
The Schade Brewery as it stands today was constructed in four phases: ca. 1902, 1903, 1907 and 1934-37. A striking landmark, and local manifestation of national trends, the old Schade Brewery provides a prominent physical reminder of past social, industrial, and architectural eras. The building takes its name from Bernhardt Schade, the brewmaster who had the building erected in 1903. Schade served as assistant brewmaster at another Spokane brewery, the New York Brewery, for a decade prior to establishing his own brewing operation. In 1903 he bought the entire oversized city block on East Trent from a Mr. Frost. Included in the purchase was a cold storage building Frost was constructing on the site. Schade hired the architect Lewis Stritesky, designer of the prominent Westminster Apartments at 2301 W. Pacific in Spokane, to design a facility based on drawings of a European brewery. Stritesky created a new western addition for the building begun by Frost. A bottling building and steam/pump house were also built on the property. Initial production was 35,000 to 40,000 barrels a year.
Cannon Hill Park Stone Bridges
With two identical stone bridges located on the property, Cannon Hill Park features its own high quality examples of basalt construction. Based on a plan created by the Olmsted Brothers, the bridges reflect the natural and rustic characteristics that they often utilized. The original park was intended to hold two ponds with a stream running between them that would be spanned in two locations by identical basalt bridges. Changes in the water table and the supply available to the park resulted in a singular pond and only dry land beneath the arches of each bridge. Domenico Peirone, the stone mason behind the Manito Park Stone Bridge, is also responsible for the work in Cannon Hill Park.
Stone House on Mansfield Avenue est. 1905
Featuring a stone clad exterior, this home is a unique example of both rock construction and vernacular design. Made up of characteristics that belong to styles such as Italianate and Craftsman, the most eye catching aspect of the structure is the stone exterior. The majority of the walls and exterior surfaces are formed by basalt stones held together by well hidden mortar. The dry stack appearance showcases a high level of craftsmanship and skill in stone construction. In addition to the use of basalt, the corners around the exterior of the home are accented by the use of rough-cut granite blocks. These granite additions are featured prominently on the wide front porch of the home and contrast noticeably with the dark basalt rock on the rest of the home.
Undercliff Mansion est. 1896
Built in 1896 by Kirtland Kutter for F. Lewis Clark, “Undercliff,” as it was known, is a luxurious mansion in the Marycliff-Cliff Park Historic District. It was the setting for many exclusive social affairs and boasts formal English gardens with red brick paths, ballroom, billiard room, servants quarters and rich wood detailing. Converted into offices, the home’s many architectural details have been lovingly restored to the grandeur of times past. During this tour you’ll learn about the Clark household and how they lived in Spokane before the 20th Century.
The Masonic Temple est. 1903
The Masonic Temple is a significant example of Neo-Classical Revival architecture in Spokane. Considered one of the grandest fraternal lodges in the west, it exemplifies the disciplined classicism that evolved from the Beaux-Arts movement and the influence of the Columbian Exposition of 1893. A principal structure in the Riverside Avenue National Historic District, the Masonic Temple is representative of the City Beautiful movement as it was expressed in Spokane. Historically and architecturally significant, the building drew on the talents of many of Spokane’s most influential and prominent citizens during its construction and development. It is a reflection of the importance of the fraternal and social organizations to the fabric of the community during its growing years. Originally completed in 1905 and expanded in 1925, the Temple was the collaborative effort of two prominent Spokane architects, John K. Dow and Loren L. Rand.