Thursday, May 14, 2009

Browne's Addition Tour


The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture is located in the historic Browne's Addition which was platted in the 1880's and intensively developed for well-to-do clients around the turn of the century. According to the Spokane Historic Preservation office: "Within its boundaries is a concentrated architectural aggregate including nearly every residential style fashionable in the Pacific Northwest between 1880 and 1930." After viewing what the museum had to offer, I took a stroll around this neighborhood to, quite frankly, gawk at the incredible late 1800's homes still standing and lovingly maintained. I knew there'd be inspiration in the details too. (Click on any picture to see those details better.) The house above was the first one I spotted on my way to the museum that made it clear there'd be more to my day than exhibits viewed indoors. It is the E. J. Roberts Mansion built in 1889 in the Queen Ann style (see a view of the front of the house plus some of the rooms here). The home remained in the family until the death of their only daughter in 1959. The mansion subsequently became a rooming house, a group home, and apartments. It has been undergoing a rigorous restoration process for the last 23 years and recently opened to the public as a Bed and Breakfast and Event Facility. That explains how someone could afford to own and live in this behemoth. See here for more information about the history of this house.


On the opposite corner was this Queen Ann. I can't track down any info on it, but I remember the plaque saying one of its special features was the rounded bay and multi-windowed copula. It looked off though, especially that rounded bay. I think all the windows had been replaced by modern versions in spite of its National Historical Registry designation.


Making a quarter turn to look at the opposite corner, I spotted this spire. Knew it had to belong to a carriage house.


Here's the house it belongs to - The Hussey-Borgenson House built in 1887 & 1889 in what is considered "a superior example of the Queen Anne style of architecture." This is looking at the back of the house. Click on the link above to see the front of the house. Check out the chimney detail, adding to the overall impact of the house's design.



With its barn/stable/carriage house, they are two of the oldest and most intact domestic buildings in Spokane. Here you get a sense for how big the carriage house is.


It always amazes me what attention to detail many of these older buildings exhibit. Rather than settling for a plain cap on the chimneys, decorative caps were designed and installed.


I was particularly fascinated by this design resolution for the chimney brickwork. I don't think I've seen bricks angled like this before. But maybe I just wasn't looking.


With my love of curves, I rather liked these under the window bay.


Kitty corner from this beauty is this rather garishly painted (in my opinion) house that I thought might be a wannabe. It didn't strike me as anything special, but apparently it is, being a Queen Ann with a two story window bay and multi-gabled roof line. It's the Olmstead House built in 1899 for a former Spokane mayor.


Just down the street from these two I happened upon this group of row houses and was perplexed. They looked in keeping with with the late 1800's time frame of the surrounding houses, yet I wasn't sure this sort of thing would have gone up on this spot back in those days. I decided it must be a very well done recent addition, carefully designed to fit in with the neighborhood. After all, it sits on the edge of the bluff with a fabulous view. and I found that hard to square with what looked like a partially commercial building. I later found information in Spokane: A City With Historical Style by Margaret Krause French & Nancy Gale Compau copyright 2000 indicating that these are townhouses built in 1891 or earlier.


A few blocks up the hill from these I found the Westminster Apartments, looking all in the world like a huge resort one should find in the Alps. I'm not sure when this was built, but French & Compau note: "The first apartment houses in Spokane were very large units. They usually had a living room, dining room, two or three bedrooms, a kitchen and bathroom...Some apartment houses even had rooms for servants to live in and had their own restaurants for the apartment dwellers." Sign me up - I could see myself living in either one of these places.


At the opposite end of the street from the E. J. Roberts Mansion, I found The Finch Mansion built in 1897 and designed by Kirtland Cutter and Karl Malmgren in the Neoclassical style. Talk about totally different. It was remodeled into apartments in 1927 - one of the first luxury apartment buildings in Browne's addition. It didn't look to me like it was still apartments, but maybe in 1927 they did it more tastefully than they did in later years. It sits on a bluff at the end of 1st street overlooking the Spokane River - what a view!


These swags so typical of Neoclassical designs are also found on many many quilts.


Next door I spotted this Mission Style carriage house. The swoopy profile of the roof line on both front and back of the building is what amused me most.


And this is the house it belongs to. Next door to it is a Tudor revival - obviously no zoning of styles here!

I'm saving the last house I found for a separate post - it is just that spectacular.


1 comment:

Connie Rose said...

Fantastic homes and buildings, Sheila. Thanks for sharing them!