The top floor of the 121-year-old Hotel Aberdeen building in downtown Spokane is being renovated into three apartments, according to permits issued by the city.
The work is estimated at $140,000 and adds to the continuing rehabilitation being done by Mark and Marianne Kartchner, who purchased the building in March 2018 for $525,000. It is on both the Spokane and National Register of Historic Places and is part of the East Downtown Historic District.
The second floor of the building has been converted to office space and houses the Kartchner’s engineering firm. The first floor is undergoing renovation.
The 9,000-square-foot building at 101 S. Stevens St. was built in 1898 by Agnes McDonough as a single-room occupancy hotel with stores on ground level. When built, it was called Wellington Court. The building’s original interior was demolished long ago, according to nomination documents for the Spokane Register of Historic Places. The 24 hotel rooms are gone, but some of the floor plan remains and will be maintained in apartment project.
Despite the demolition, the original stairwell remains, even though the stairs have been replaced.
The building’s exterior, which has a prominent granite arch, has largely been unaltered, except for a 1902 addition that elongated the building south to Railroad Alley.
The early ownership of the hotel is striking, since its first three sole owners were women. McDonough sold it to Anna McIntosh, who owned it for just a year before she sold it to Carrie Harris. Harris, the most remarkable of the three, first built her fortune feeding and housing the miners of Idaho’s Silver Valley, but expanded when she “built a diverse multi-state real estate portfolio at the turn of the 20th century,” the nomination documents state.
Aside from her Spokane properties, Harris built numerous homes in Los Angeles near the University of Southern California.
After she purchased the Stevens building in 1903, she renamed it the Hotel Aberdeen. The same year she developed the seven-story Hotel Victoria two blocks away at First Avenue and Wall Street. The Victoria was demolished in 1979 to make way for the Washington Trust Bank parking garage.
In 1914, the Aberdeen was renamed the Bachelor Apartments.
In 1950, a fire broke out on the building’s third floor, and rafters still show “clear evidence of charred wood from the blaze and structural repairs to remedy the damage. It is ironic that at the time of the fire the business located on the first floor below the fire location was ‘Fred C. Ashley Realtors and Fire Insurance,’” the historic register nomination states.
In the 1960s, the building was called the Baker Hotel.
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