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Saturday, December 14, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Then and now: Pratt Furniture

Albert R. Pratt was born in 1880 and raised in Salt Lake City, arriving in Spokane around 1900.

This business-minded young man was a partner in a store called Goble, Pratt and Robbins, selling houseware and furniture. He eventually took over the furniture department, then struck out on his own with Pratt Furniture in 1907.

He had a storefront on Post Street in the Glass Block, the current location of the P.F. Chang’s restaurant. The Pratts had four sons, each of whom worked in the business at some point, some helping to open a Pratt store in Santa Monica, California.

The Pratts grew wealthy and joined the upper crust of Spokane society, joining the country clubs, sitting on local bank boards and leading civic causes.

The Auditorium Building, at the corner of Post and Main Avenue, was built in 1890 and served as Spokane’s most elegant theater for plays, vaudeville and movies for more than 40 years before it was torn down in 1934.

Pratt quickly acquired some of the land and erected a simple brick building, three stories high with a modern facade of large windows. He moved across the street to the larger space, adding a mezzanine floor to display more furniture groupings.

Son Albert C. Pratt bought the business from his father in 1940. The senior Pratt died in 1942 while wintering in Santa Monica. Tragically, Albert Jr. died in 1951 and youngest brother Richard “Dick” Pratt became the lead partner, operating the store downtown and one in Hillyard for the next 30 years.

Dick was well known as a witty emcee for local galas, fundraisers and auctions. Dick owned horses that ran at Playfair, hunted big game in Africa and helped with the Spokane Lilac Festival. He added a store at University City in 1965 and also owned Empire Furniture at Riverside Avenue and Washington Street. The stores closed in 1976. He died in 1986.

In 1978, clothier Eddie Bauer was in the building, which was incorporated into the River Park Square development. When the mall was redeveloped in the 1990s, Post Street was vacated and the building was demolished.

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