Patsy Clark’s mansion is one of the most recognizable homes in Spokane. It ranks high among the palatial homes built by Spokane’s early millionaires.
Patrick “Patsy” Clark, born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1852, came to America in 1870 and headed to California to work in the mining industry. His management skill and eye for detail took him from the mines to the heights of upper management. He managed mines in California, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, British Columbia and Washington. In 1889, the now-wealthy mining magnate and wife Mary commissioned up-and-coming architect Kirtland Cutter to design their new home. No expense was to be spared. Cutter was encouraged to travel, both to look for ideas and to find exotic materials and skilled craftsmen to finish and furnish the new home.
The house, filled with artistic influences from Spain, India, China and other regions, took several years to complete. It was finally finished around 1898.
Cutter went on to design homes for many other early Spokane millionaires, including Amasa Campbell, James Glover, F. Lewis Clark and John Finch. Cutter left Spokane in the mid-1910s and finished his career in California.
Patsy Clark died in 1915, and Mrs. Clark stayed in the mansion until her death in 1926. The house was sold to Eugene Enloe, whose family lived there until 1946. Several owners after that operated the building as a rooming house, inn or restaurant. It was called the Francis Lester Inn in the 1950s and 1960s. Gerry Larson, a contractor, bought the house in 1969 and came close to demolishing it. Instead, he restored it and stayed for several years. A trio of partners purchased the home in 1977 and converted it into a restaurant, Patsy Clark’s, which opened in 1982 and operated for 20 years.
Since 2002, the building has been owned by the law firm of Eymann Allison Hunter Jones, which has made many repairs and improvements, including a ramp to make the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a new roof and meticulous restoration of the woodwork and interior, which had taken a lot of nicks and dings from 20 years of restaurant use. The owners rent out the downstairs spaces for special events, such as weddings and parties.
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