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Historic Properties of Spokane

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Empire State Building

Empire State Building
Great Western Building
901 W. Riverside Avenue See Map
John K. Dow

The Empire State Building, known today as the Great Western Savings and loan Building, is one of the most attractive buildings in Spokane’s central business district. Located at 901-905 W Riverside, the six-story building is linked to one of the most historic architectural groupings in the city. The street elevations of the building are defined by continuous vertical piers and arcades from the third through fifth stories. Horizontal movement is achieved by string courses at second, third, and sixth floor levels and by an elaborate cornice along the roofline. In addition, a curved corner at the intersection of these elevations continues the horizontal line of decorative spandrels and fenestration. The use of buff brick facing is unusual in Spokane where the majority of older commercial structures are finished with red brick. Today the Empire State Building is the best remaining example of architect John K. Dow’s skill in the design of business structures.

Nomination (PDF)