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Historic Properties of Spokane

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Wharton Building

Wharton Building
411 W. 1st Avenue See Map
Arthur E. Saunders

The Wharton Building meets Spokane City/County Register of Historic Places under Categories A & C for its significance as a building associated with the commercial history of Spokane at the turn of the 20th Century (Category A) as well as for its significant architectural character as a vernacular commercial brick building in the center of an intact block of buildings from around the same time period (Category C). Constructed in 1901, the Wharton Building typifies a vernacular commercial building that originally housed the Spokane Paper Company and the upper two floors contained open meeting halls that were used for fraternal lodges such as the Moose and Elks, a union hall, the Spokane public museum, and dance halls as opposed to single room occupancy hotels which were common in downtown Spokane. The building was originally constructed by developer James Monaghan, a Spokane pioneer, real estate investor, capitalist and civic leader. Additionally, it was later purchased by widow Marion C. Wharton who added the parapet on the building with the name “Wharton” in a raised letter panel at the center. Architect of the Wharton Building Arthur E. Saunders was born in England, moved to California and formed a practice in Santa Cruz. He practiced in California for twelve years before moving to Spokane in 1897 and opening an independent practice. Local newspapers claimed he was responsible for many of the cities splendid structures and they were “monuments to his skill, taste, and ability.”


Management Agreement

Nomination (PDF)