D. Peirone, Rock Mason Domenico Peirone (1880-1956) was born in the mountains of northern Italy in an area called Piemonte where as a boy he learned to build walls and houses out of rock and brick. Peirone immigrated to the United States in 1903, and made his way west to Spokane. An accomplished mason, Peirone worked for such celebrated Spokane architects as Kirtland Cutter and G. A. Pehrson. He was responsible for rockwork in Spokane at Fairmont Cemetery, Riverside Cemetery, Holy Cross Cemetery (arches, chapels, fountains, rock walls), the Louis Davenport House (listed in the 1912 city directory at “Eighth Avenue on the northwest corner of Division Street,” now demolished), Manito and Cannon Hill Parks, and his family’s rock houses on West Lawton Road in the Garden Springs neighborhood, West Plains of Spokane. He built a basalt rock grotto on the hillside in front of the F. Lewis Clark House (601 W. Seventh Avenue) and stone benches and grottos at Sacred Heart Hospital (rock features demolished). Some of his finest rockwork is illustrated in the Ralston & Sarah Wilbur House, a sprawling Arts & Crafts-style home organically integrated to its building site along a steep slope at 2525 E. Nineteenth. Designed by the architectural firm of Cutter & Malmgren, the Wilbur House was built in 1916 and is primarily constructed of black basalt rock, much of which was culled from the rocky hillside site. Peirone’s masterful rock mason skills can be seen in his selection of uniform vesicled and non-vesicled basalt rock with which he built the exterior walls, arched porches, and walled stairways of the Wilbur House, caretaker’s cottage, and garage. Garden features include rock paths and rock walls, rock gardens, and a double-tiered rock fountain. Peirone’s granddaughter, Jeanne Peirone McGregor, recalled her Uncle Henry’s (Domenico’s son) pride when he remembered how he and his father built the rock foundation and terrace walls for the Dessert House. He said they used only the best stone and were responsible for all of the rockwork on the property. Peirone’s decades-old stonework is precise, sturdy, and long-lasting as evidenced by his well-preserved commissions in Spokane.
Kirtland Kelsey Cutter (August 20, 1860 – September 26, 1939) was a 20th-century architect in the Pacific Northwest and California. He was born in East Rockport, Ohio, the great-grandson of Jared Potter Kirtland. He studied painting and illustration at the Art Students League of New York. At the age of 26 he moved to Spokane, Washington, and began working as a banker for his uncle. By the 1920s Cutter had designed several hundred buildings that established Spokane as a place rivaling Seattle and Portland, Oregon in its architectural quality. Most of Cutter’s work is listed in State and National Registers of Historic Places.His design for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair Idaho Building was a rustic design log construction. It was a popular favorite, visited by an estimated 18 million people. The building’s design and interior furnishings were a major precursor of the Arts and Crafts movement.Cutter also worked in partnership with Karl G. Malmgren as Cutter & Malmgren and variation.