AKA: Maryhill, Goldendale, WA; Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, WA

Structure Type: built works - agricultural structures; built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Hornblower and Marshall, Architects (firm); Joseph Coerten Hornblower (architect); James Rush Marshall (architect)

Dates: constructed 1914-1940

2 stories

35 Maryhill Museum Drive
Goldendale, WA 98620

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The thrifty Hill adapted the plan of his Seattle house (1909) for use as a farm house on the Columbia River. The Washington, DC, firm of Hornblower and Marshall designed both. (Samuel Hill built several other residence around the U.S., in Minneapolis, MN, Washington, DC, and in MA, for his wife and two children who disliked the Pacific Northwest.) Hoping to settle the area, Hill platted a 34-block town site that later burned. He acquired 18 neighboring farms with a combined 7,000 acres to create an estate that he hoped to sell off to farmers. He created a system of dams and irrigation canals to entice them to settle in the arid climate, but few came. In later years, Hill abandoned this effort to create an agricultural colony and decided to transform his house, Maryhill, into an art museum. This facility, like the Peace Arch in Blaine, WA, (another project of Hill's), was dedicated by a visiting aristocratic friend, Queen Marie of Romania, in 1926. Although dedicated in 1926, construction at Maryhill did not end until 05/13/1940, 9 years after Hill's death. In his will, Hill left half of his estate to the museum, although this document was challenged by his now estranged wife and son. In order to complete the museum, mutual friends, including the heiress Alma de Bretteville Spreckels (1881-1968) , a one-time art model and later wife of the San Francisco, CA, beet sugar tycoon, Adolph B. Spreckels (1857-1924).

Maryhill, named for his wife, (daughter of the railroad tycoon, James J. Hill), contained eight bedroom suites and could hold 250 for formal dinners. It measured 60 by 93 feet and had a starkly rectangular, 2-story form decorated in the Georgian Revival Style. The exterior was constructed of reinforced concrete, like all of Hill's construction projects in the Pacific Northwest, the interior framing of steel. Views from the house, placed at the edge of the Columbia River Gorge, extended for miles, including a magnificent vista of Mount Hood. Tel: 509.773.3733 (2010);

National Register of Historic Places (December 31, 1974): 74001966 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 14414