Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: Cutter and Malmgren, Architects (firm); Cutter and Poetz, Architects (firm); Kirtland Kelsey Cutter (architect); Karl Gunnar Malmgren (architect); John C. Poetz Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1889-1890, demolished 1962

6 stories

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501 West 1st Avenue
Riverside, Spokane, WA 99201

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In 1909, the Hotel Spokane operated on the southwest corner of Stevens Street and 1st Avenue.


For many business and political leaders during the period 1890-1910, an important indicator of a Western American city's wealth and stability was the presence of a large-scale, first-class hotel in its downtown. Erected in the wake of the devastating fire of 1889, the Hotel Spokane served as proof of the city's resilience and financial resources, accommodating visiting business travelers and potential new residents (particularly families). A distinction was made during the 19th and early 20th century of hotels appropriate for single workingmen, many being single-room occupancy buildings, and those with more elaborate services and larger living, eating and meeting spaces appropriate for wealthier business and professional men to bring their wives and children. The Hotel Spokane fell into the latter category.

Building History

The Spokane architectural partnership of Cutter and Poetz designed the Hotel Spokane, with Kirtland Kelsey Cutter being the chief designer. The hotel, originally built with five stories, occupied much of a city block in Downtown Spokane and established a level of service and comfort unmatched by other hotels of the time.

Cutter's later firm, Cutter and Malmgren, participated in the enlargement of the hotel in 1908. This added story is plainly visible in photos of the building c. 1908. The top floor fenestration differed from that of the floors below. The top story had double-hung windows with no decorative arched moldings or rusticated courses as did the lower five floors.

Building Notes

In the wake of Spokane's large fire of 1889, the fire-resistance of a hotel's structure became of heightened importance. An ad for the Hotel Spokane in the Spokane Falls Daily Chronicle, noted the hotel's structural material: "The only first-class brick hotel in the city." The ad indicated that the hotel had "electric light and steam heat in every room" and had rates of $3 to $5 per day. In 1890, Leon Lasher was the hotel's manager. (See Hotel Spokane Advertisement, Spokane Falls Daily Chronicle, 06/07/1890, p. 8.)

In 1908, the Hotel Spokane operated its own restaurant known as "Ye Silver Grill."

An E.C. Kropp (of Milwaukee, WI) postcard from the 1930s was produced of the Hotel Spokane, showing a vertical marquee on one corner. The Silver Grill Restaurant operated in the Hotel Spokane, c. 1925.

In 1940, a radio tower stood on the top of the Hotel Spokane.


The Hotel Spokane had another story added (giving it six) in 1908. A 2019 historic resource evaluation for the neighboring Columbia Building stated of the Hotel Spokane: "In 1906, the east elevation of the Columbia Building was erected adjacent to the west side of an 1890 five-story brick building, which was in 1908 raised to six stories (Hotel Spokane). In 1963 [sic], the hotel was demolished and replaced by a four-story motor hotel (motel) and underground garage. In 2018, the 1963 building was reduced to a single story." (See Linda Yeomans, Historic Preservation Planning and Design, City of, "Spokane Register of Historic Places Nomination: Columbia Building," p. 8, published 05/15/2019, accessed 07/10/2024.)


The Hotel Spokane was demolished in 03/1962. A Spokane Spokesman-Review photo caption of the demolition said: "A scoop shovel clawed at the innards of the old Spokane Hotel Tuesday, hastening the final departure of the famed hostelry from Spokane's downtown scene. Destruction of the ancient hotel will be completed this month and construction will start immediately on a modernistic hotel-motel that will be connected with the parent Ridpath Hotel just across the street." (See "A Landmark Nears the End of the Road," Spokane Spokesman-Review, 03/07/1962, p. 1.)

As noted above by Yeomans, a four-floor motel-hotel annex to the Ridpath Hotel replaced the Hotel Spokane, but this was shortened to one story in 2018. In 2024, a one-floor building with a subterranean parking garage at 501 West 1st Avenue occupied the site of the Hotel Spokane.

PCAD id: 13393