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Friday, April 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Kirtland Cutter, who helped transform the ‘architecturally savage camp’ that was Spokane, says he has great hopes for the city

The Spokesman-Review ran a lengthy profile of "Spokane’s Best Known Builder, Kirtland Cutter,” on April 8, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The Spokesman-Review ran a lengthy profile of "Spokane’s Best Known Builder, Kirtland Cutter,” on April 8, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)

The Spokesman-Review ran a lengthy profile of “Spokane’s Best Known Builder, Kirtland Cutter.”

Cutter talked about his early days as an artist, illustrator and sculptor. He said he became unsatisfied with his art, and realized that architecture was a kind of art that fit into “the everyday life of my fellow beings.” He said architecture was “art incarnate.”

Architecture “expressed every form of art with the ultimate end of not only pleasing the eye of man and ministering to his esthetic nature, but contributing to his comfort and convenience, as well.”

Cutter returned from a visit to Europe with a passion for architecture and came directly to Spokane, which was “a very new and architecturally savage camp in the wilds of Washington Territory.” He was fortunate, he said, that some of his first house sketches “came into the hands of practical builders who seemed pleased with their appearance.”

“They were crude enough, I confess,” said Cutter, “but they gave me my introduction to work life.”

He went on to design many well-known buildings in Spokane, Seattle, Santa Barbara and other cities.

The writer said that Cutter was “enthusiastically loyal to Spokane and has great hopes for the city in an architectural as well as commercial way.”

He wanted to play a part in making “Spokane known among American cities as much for its architecture and its culture,” as for its resources and business potential.

With buildings such as the Davenport Hotel, he succeeded.

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