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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Sun., Nov. 7, 2010

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane was crowing about the newest – and tallest – symbol of its economic vigor: the 15-story “skyscraper,” the Old National Bank building.

“Spokane Style Beats Chicago,” boasted one headline in The Spokesman-Review’s 12-page special section devoted to the building.

“Expended $50,000 On Elevators Alone,” bragged another.

The paper called it “the biggest building in the Northwest,” and pointed out proudly that the $1.3 million building was built “entirely on Spokane capital.”

The ground floor and basement were used by the bank. The other floors were rented out for offices to doctors, lawyers, dentists and others. The finished building would hold 245 tenants and an estimated 1,000 people.

The building was as grand in other ways, too. The bank counter was a “combination of Grecian and domestic marbles, topped with a beautiful frieze of Grecian design.”

Oh, yes, there was one more thing to brag about: “No One Is Killed,” said a headline.

“Bird-men builders” worked for almost a year “at dizzying heights,” said the paper.

Today, you can see this still-glorious building for yourself. It’s the US Bank, Riverside Avenue and Stevens Street.

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