AKA: Davidson Block, Downtown, Ellensburg, WA; Hotel Savoy, Downtown, Ellensburg, WA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - commercial buildings - stores

Designers: Ames, William O., Contractor (firm); Randall, Joseph B., Architect (firm); William O. Ames (building contractor); Joseph B. Randall (architect)

Dates: constructed 1889-1890

2 stories

view all images ( of 1 shown)

North Pearl Street and West 4th Avenue
Downtown, Ellensburg, WA 98926

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map

This colorful, Italianate, mixed-use building has anchored Ellensburg's Downtown since its completion in 1889, accommodating retail spaces on the first floor and hotel rooms or offices above. (The Hotel Savoy operated on the second floor c. 1895, but a new establishment, the Albany Hotel, took its place after c. 1900.) The building's prominent location on the northeast corner of North Pearl Street and West 4th Street, was marked by an eye-catching tourelle. Investor John B. Davidson, a prominent Ellensburg lawyer and jurist, retained architect J.B. Randal to design this 90 x 120-foot commercial block, begun before the 07/04/1889 blazeleveled 10 blocks in the mostly wood-frame commercial district. Sometimes called the "Phoenix Building," the Davidson Block had a phoenix located on the West 4th Avenue (south) side pediment perched atop the parapet, representing rebirth after the blaze; opened in 01/1890, it symbolized Elensburg's resiliency following a serious calamity. It possessed a metal structural framework, whose front and side facades were filled with brick. According to Washington State University, its bricks were shipped from Chicago via rail, adding to its substantial $42,000 price. Cast iron columns lined the first-floor facade. Its brick cladding, more costly and fire-resistant than wood siding, demonstrated Davidson's prosperity and willingness to invest in the downtown. William Ames served as the Davidson Building's General Contractor. Little is known about Randal or Ames.

Each floor contained approximately 10,800 square feet. The Davidson Building formed part of the Downtown Ellensburg Historic District, a designation bounded by West 3rd Avenue, West 6th Avenue, North Main Street and North Ruby Street. The district was formed on 07/01/1977.

Alterations occurred in 1909. A full-scale renovation happened in 1979. Over the years, decorative elements at the parapet line were removed.

The Davidson Building completed in January 1890 at the northeast corner of Fourth and Pearl Streets became a well-known Ellensburg landmark with its recognizable tower. The popular Hotel Savoy which replaced the Albany Hotel about 1900 offered guests transportation in the horse drawn taxi to the train depot as well as tours around town. The Elmira Building which housed the New York Store is on the right and the G. R. Stewart Building is on the left.

Ellensburg Landmark: ID n/a

Kittitas County Assessor Number: 397033

PCAD id: 16567