Historic Properties of Spokane
Rising eight stories above Riverside Avenue and exquisitely crafted in light gray terra cotta, the Sherwood Building is an eye-catching landmark in downtown Spokane. Constructed between 1916 and 1917, the building was originally developed by John D. Sherwood, a successful developer in Spokane's early history. Sherwood employed master architect Kirtland Cutter to design a building that would maximize the economics of the site in the core of a thriving commercial center. The Sherwood Building is one of only two Gothic Revival buildings in downtown; the other building being the Chronicle Building which was also designed by Cutter. Characteristic gothic detailing includes the many gargoyles and creatures which adorn the front of the building. The more interesting carvings included a hooded, bare-legged man who crouches above the main entry way, a lion that sits open-mouthed to his left and an eagle which stares intently from his right. The skillful use of gothic imagery, repetition and variation of forms and a careful balance of vertical and horizontal elements demonstrates the knowledge and finesse of an architect of the stature of Cutter.