Historic Properties of Spokane

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Willard Hotel

Willard Hotel
Otis Hotel
1101-1 W. 1st Avenue See Map
1911
Arthur Cowley and Archibald Rigg
Riverside
11/04/1998
N/A

Dr. Joseph Gandy, one of the first residents of Spokane, had this building constructed in 1911. Originally named the Willard Hotel, it was a single-room-occupancy hotel designed to house the burgeoning working class population drawn to Spokane to fill jobs associated with the city’s unparalleled decade of growth just after the turn of the twentieth century. SROs were once commonplace in Spokane, but relatively few representative examples remain. The row of SROs, including the Willard, along west First Avenue in the heart of the West Downtown Historic Transportation Corridor National Historic District represents the best extant concentration of this property type in Spokane. In 1921, Spokane investor Victor Dessert bought the structure and changed its name to the Atlantic Hotel. By 1941, it was called the Milner Hotel, in 1948 it became the Earle Hotel, and in 1956, the Otis. The Otis Hotel still functions as a single-room-occupancy hotel with commercial space on the first floor.