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Unique property hits market: Victorian home built in 1892 for former Spokane mayor

A Queen Anne Victorian home in northeast Spokane, one of the earliest homes in that part of the city, has a special connection to the past.

It was built around 1890 for a former city mayor and is now up for sale.

William and Melissa Dixon have called the three-story house their home for 18 years but have decided to move on.

At 203 E. Euclid Ave., the house was built for the former mayor, physician and real estate developer Patrick S. Byrne.

It sits on a parcel overlooking downtown and a short walking distance to nearby stores and restaurants.

“I have just loved our central location,” Melissa Dixon said.

Holiday fireworks are visible from the house.

The couple is asking $339,000.

Dixon is working with a childhood friend, Tracy Adams, who is the real estate agent for the house through Kelly Right Real Estate of Spokane.

The two met in kindergarten at Whitman Elementary School.

Dixon has lived in the neighborhood since then. She said she remembers admiring the Victorian house when she visited her uncle’s house just one block to the south.

She said that she and her husband “both always liked this style of house.”

The house has the ornamentation typical of the era. A hexagonal turret crowns the roof and fish-scale shingles provide additional embellishment.

The paint colors of olive with cream and burgundy accents are consistent with the period.

Prominent bay windows protrude onto the wrap-around porch.

A den off the main entry can be used as an office or study.

Upper balconies offer great views of the neighborhood.

Inside, the house has several fireplaces, including one in each of the larger bedrooms on the upper floor.

Much of the original woodwork and oak flooring are in place.

The dining room has an exquisite oak mantel over the fireplace.

One of the three bathrooms has a claw-foot bathtub.

The four-bedroom house has a convenient laundry on the second floor.

The Dixons built a large 28-by-26-foot garage at the rear of the property and fenced the back yard on the double-sized lot. The garage includes a finished second-story loft suitable as a living space.

Adams said that an old house needs just the right type of purchaser, someone who values the character and doesn’t mind the work that goes into maintaining it.

“This is a pretty unique house,” she said.

“This is a chance to own a piece of history,” Adams said.

Byrne, who came to Spokane from New York, was mayor of Spokane from 1901 to 1903. He was a physician and a land developer of the North Side. He was president of the Byrne Investment Co.

Byrne worked with John H. Lidgerwood and Judge David Glass on developing the residential area and Lidgerwood Park Addition.

Glass built a similar mansion nearby, but that now is gone.

Byrne was married in 1888 to Ida Gomm, and they had six children.

Byrne is credited with running a public-spirited and business-like City Hall.

He was also an early member of the Spokane Medical Society and served at one point as the county physician.

He belonged to the Knights of Columbus, the Elks and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

He was a Democrat and ran for Congress at one point.

Byrne Park and Byrne School, now Madison Elementary School, were named after the former mayor, according to research by Nancy Gale Compau in Nostalgia Magazine in 2000.

A grandson, Patrick S. Byrne, was manager of the Palouse Room restaurant at the Bon Marche in the early 1970s. He also had operated the Cedar’s floating restaurant in Coeur d’Alene when it first opened in 1966 as well as A&W drive-ins.

The house was converted to apartments in about 1939. In danger of being torn down, the house was ehabilitated and restored to a single-family home in the 1990s.

The structure is in good condition.The couple installed replacement windows and made other repairs.

“A handsome, historical structure, it is a reminder of the early days of Spokane,” Compau wrote.

Tony Byrne, chair of the Open House Weekend committee, said the event is intended to kick off the spring and summer home sales season.

For more information on the event, go to spokaneopen.com/.

The house is not haunted as some might speculate. “If we have ghosts, they are friendly,” Melissa Dixon said.

“I hope it sells to someone who loves it like we did.”


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