September 23, 2009 in City

Historic Campbell House to reopen

Closure by MAC incited ‘flood of complaints’
By The Spokesman-Review
 

The historic Campbell House at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture will reopen Oct. 7, after being closed since Jan. 2.

The reopening is made possible by a “shift in priorities,” said Marsha Rooney, the MAC’s senior curator of history.

In January, the museum cited state budget cuts as the reason for the closure. The state funding situation has not improved since then, but Rooney said the museum was able to shuffle resources to retain some history education staff members and to “boost the size of the volunteer corps.”

The museum had plenty of incentive to bring this grand mansion back as one of its attractions. Rooney said the museum has received “a flood of complaints” since the Campbell House’s closure. “People felt it was one of our most beloved exhibits,” she said.

It’s certainly the largest exhibit. The 1897 Campbell House is an English Tudor Revival-style mansion, designed by renowned architect Kirtland Cutter and built for mining baron Amasa B. Campbell. It includes servants’ quarters and a carriage house.

The Campbell House sits next door to the museum. Since 1960, it had served as a carefully preserved showcase of Spokane’s “age of elegance.” It includes a French-style reception room, a library, a den and a game room.

Over the years, a guided tour of the Campbell House became an important part of the museum experience. Other exhibits come and go, but Rooney called the Campbell House the museum’s only true “permanent” exhibit.

During the closure, the museum accomplished some restoration work and maintenance.

School groups continued to tour the building, but it was not open to regular museum visitors.

Beginning Oct. 7, the Campbell House will be open during regular museum hours (Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Several guided tours will be available daily between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and are included in the cost of regular museum admission.

The museum will also revive the tradition of decorating Campbell House for the holidays, Nov. 27 through Jan. 2.

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