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Craftsman homes open windows to history

Oak woodwork inside Jill Bray’s Craftsman home near Manito Park is so extensive and so well done that you would have to see it to believe it.

On Sunday, the public will have that chance.

The quarter-sawn oak with tiger-stripe patterning has been hand-rubbed to an ebony finish. Sliding doors, dividers, paneling and box beams fill the main rooms. A built-in china cabinet at the back of the dining room is the crowning piece.

“I like the masculinity of it,” said Bray, who purchased the home with her husband, William, in 2002. “This is a man’s house, yet it’s perfectly comfortable.”

The 1914 home at 420 W. 22nd Ave. is one of four Craftsman residences that will make up the 21st annual Mother’s Day historic neighborhood tour from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $15 and are available at the homes. Proceeds will benefit the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, whose members can buy tickets for $10.

Known historically as the Harvey and Mary Bauer House, the Brays’ home is a choice example of the Craftsman bungalow movement that emerged from Southern California in the early part of the 20th century, a style that is well represented in Spokane neighborhoods.

The architect was Joseph T. Levesque, who came from Pasadena, Calif., and spent two years working in Spokane before moving on to Great Falls. Another of his homes is at 1708 S. Maple St.

“It has just awesome wood,” said Linda Yeomans, a historic preservation consultant who helped organize the tour.

The woodwork is complemented by the home’s original array of Craftsman light fixtures of low-luster brass and caramel glass.

The porch and lower exterior walls show off an unusual but stylistically appropriate mix of mortared brick and basalt rock.

Next door to the Bauer House is another of the tour homes: the 1912 Frank and Maude Tuell House at 416 W. 22nd Ave.

It was designed by William James Ballard, owner of the Ballard Plannary firm that operated in Spokane from 1908 to 1925. Ballard studied and worked in Pasadena and Los Angeles before coming to Spokane.

The home is owned by Amy Shook and Steve Korn.

“We probably have two of the best bungalows in Spokane right next door to each other,” Yeomans said.

The third home on the tour is the 1911 Dr. Frank Rose House at 2025 S. Rockwood Blvd., which has elements of Craftsman, Tudor Revival and Swiss chalet architecture. A cutout design on the front porch railing shows its Swiss lineage. It is owned by Shane and Patricia O’Neill.

Also on the tour is the 1912 Mack-Kane House at 734 E. 23rd Ave., another Craftsman built by Ivan Abraham, a prominent Spokane builder. It is owned by Jim and Ann Price.

The home features an arrangement of front-facing gables.

Historic names are taken from original or prominent owners of the period.

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