David B. Fotheringham, an early City Council member and Spokane’s ninth mayor, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1856. He was the only one of four children in his family to survive until adulthood. His father ran a general store, but died when the boy was only 14. After living in New Mexico and Colorado, he came to Spokane in 1883. He was a skilled carpenter and went into the contracting business here, erecting some notable structures, including the elaborate Spokane County Courthouse. He also built the large Hotel Spokane and the downtown post office, as well as Washington, Webster and other grade schools.
By 1906, Fotheringham was successful and had stepped away from the contracting business, dabbling in real estate and investing from offices in the Empire State Building, as the Spokane building was known; it’s now called the Great Western Building. He let his son, Dalton Fotheringham, take the lead on the construction of the Crest Hotel on the steep hillside above the Spokane River in 1910. The impressive structure boasted eight floors facing the river and only three above Riverside Avenue’s street level.
The Crest opened before Louis Davenport’s hotel did, and was considered an upscale hotel with a dining room that had an expansive view of the river gorge. Many rooms looked toward the Spokane River, the Monroe Street Bridge and the lower falls.
David Fotheringham passed away while living in the Crest in 1930.
The Crest Hotel eventually transitioned to long-term apartments, operated by Dalton Fotheringham, then by his son Don, who sold the hotel to architect Warren Heylman in 1971. Don was also a paint salesman who also started a company producing trick and slalom water skis. He was a charter member of the Spokane Water Ski Club.
Heylman, a well-known proponent of modern design and architecture, designed a high-rise condominium tower with five levels of parking below Riverside Avenue and 11 residential stories above. The apartments have floor-to-ceiling glass walls accentuating the views.
Now 95 years old, Heylman still lives in the high-rise building, which was named Riverfalls Tower.
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