AKA: Saint Mary's Hall School #2, Browne's Addition, Spokane, WA; Brunot Hall Protestant School for Girls, Browne's Addition, Spokane, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: [unspecified], demolished 1975

2 stories

view all images ( of 2 shown)

2209 West Pacific Avenue
Browne's Addition, Spokane, WA 99201

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


The Webb House stood on this corner site in Spokane's Browne's Addition neighborhood since before 1895. After 1895, the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane purchased the property and expanded a new school there, named Saint Mary's Hall

In 09/1900, Saint Mary's Hall was renamed for its patrons, Felix and Mary Hogg Brunot of Pittsburgh, PA. In 1915, Brunot Hall offered primary, intermediate and college preparatory curricula for girls in Spokane, operating until 1917, when it closed due to lack of funds. The former residence and school was repurposed as a dance studio, theatre and apartment building. The building's end came as an apartment block in 1975, when it burned.

Building History

The Webb House was first erected on this parcel of land at the corner of West Pacific Avenue and South Hemlock Street. The Episcopal Diocese obtained the property c. 1894. Spokane historian Zachary Wnek wrote: "The original building was not big enough to match the plans of the Episcopal Diocese so they added onto the building to meet their needs. The school was named after its benefactor and was called Brunot Hall." (See Zachary Wnek, Historic Spokane.org, "Brunot Hall Browne's Addition Tour," accessed 05/25/2021.) The school remained known as St. Mary's Hall until 02/1900, when its name was changed to "Brunot Hall," for its patrons. (See "It Is Not St. Mary's," Spokane Chronicle, 09/27/1900, p. 5.)

Lemuel Henry Wells (1841-1936), the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane, was consecrated in New Haven, CT, in 12/1892. On his way back from New Haven, he encountered the Pittsburgh philanthropists Felix Reville Brunot(1820-1898) and his wife Mary Ann Hogg Brunot (1822-1899) while traveling by rail on a tour of the West. Bishop Wells said of this encounter: "On my way back from my consecration I met, in the Pullman car, Mr. and Mrs. Felix Brunot, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, who were on a tour of the West. I suggested to them to stop over in Spokane and they became so interested in the possibilities of church work in that new country that they gave me $30, 000 for a school building and enabled me to develop a diocesan girls' boarding school out of a parish school which was already in existence. Mrs. Wells superintended the organization and building of the school and became its first principal. We called it Brunot Hall. Mr. Brunot also gave me $22,000 for an endowment with which I bought the land and built a business block to rent. This block has since been sold for seventy five thousand dollars, but a few years after I resigned this school was so deeply in debt that it had to be closed. This money was first suggested for St. Paul's school in Walla Walla and now that the school in Spokane has been closed the supposition is that it will revert to St. Paul's." (See Lemuel Wells, Anglican History.org, "Project Canterbury A Pioneer Missionary by the Rt. Rev. Lemuel H. Wells," [Seattle: Progressive Printing, 1931.]) The bishop's second wife, Henrietta Bright Garretson Wells (1838-1903), whom he married in 1880, was an educator, who became the first Principal of Brunot Hall. Henrietta Wells also served as the first Principal of the Annie Wright Seminary #1 in Tacoma, WA, and was a daughter of the abolitionist lawyer, William Lloyd Garrison (1801-1872).

Felix R. Brunot, born in KY, trained as a civil engineer, and invested early on in Pittsburgh's nascent steel industry, earning some significant wealth. He was notable for his service in the medical corps for the Union side during the Civil War and after it served in President Grant's administration on his Board of Indian Commissioners, formed in 1869. Bishop Wells encouraged the Brunots to stop in Spokane so that he could show them a charity he felt worthy of contribution. The Brunots were notable philanthropists to a variety of causes, and were particularly beneficent to Protestant Episcopal missions across the United States as well as Japan, China, Africa, Haiti, Cuba and elsewhere. The $55,000 donated to Bishop Wells was quite sizable for the Brunots, many of whose other gifts had ranged from $1,000 to $5,000. (See "Much Goes to Charity," Pittsburgh Daily Post, 11/20/1901, p. 5.) Brunot's father, Dr. Felix Brunot (1752-1838), was a foster sibling of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, (aka General Lafayette, 1757-1834), who fought in the Revolutionary War with the Americans.

Brunot Hall served both day pupils as well as about 50 girls who boarded on site. Wnek observed of the school's curriculum: "Brunot Hall was a very rigorous course of study. In 1910 the subjects taught were Psychology, Ethics, English, German, French, Mathematics, History, Greek, Latin, Prose Composition, Science, Physical Culture, Bookkeeping and Stenography (shorthand writing). In 1910 Brunot Hall had 11 instructors, all women. Four of the eleven instructors had obtained a bachelor’s degree from a university. The teachers came from across the country such as Vassar, Smith College, Stanford and Vanderbilt University." (See Zachary Wnek, Historic Spokane.org, "Brunot Hall Browne's Addition Tour," accessed 05/25/2021.)

Julia Bailey was the Principal of Brunot Hall in 1916. An advertisement for Brunot Hall stated: "Certificate admits to Smith, Wellesley, and other colleges. Advantages in Music, the very best. Fine Art Studio." (See classified advertisements, The Living Church, 07/29/1916, p. 478.)

The Board of Trustees of Brunot Hall voted on 02/17/1917 to close the school following losses of $35,000 during the previous year. (See Jim Kershner, Spokane Spokesman-Review, "100 years ago today in Spokane: Brunot Hall, private school for young ladies, announces closure," published 02/17/2017, accessed 05/25/2021.)

PCAD id: 24014