The Review Building

This 1890 building — home of The Spokesman-Review newspaper — in Spokane, Washington holds a special place in our hearts. My mom and grandma both worked here. For a time, my grandma’s office was right in the circular corner window of the first floor.

One of the tallest buildings in Spokane, it was designed by architect Chauncey B. Seaton to fit the irregular shape of the lot. Seaton came to Spokane after its infamous 1889 fire to help rebuild the city.

In its early days, the building housed the Hotel Review in the upper floors. The Spokane Daily Chronicle was also there as well but the building became too crowded, and the Chronicle moved into its own building in 1921.

The Review Building was erected to house the Review, an evening daily paper, which was established by Frank Dallam as a weekly paper in 1883. Its closest competitor was the Spokesman, a democratic paper owned by a group of Spokane businessmen.

In 1893, the competition between the two newspapers necessitated a merger if either was to survive. Out of this, the Spokane Morning Review was born, under the management of Harvey Scott, H. L. Pittock, Anthony Cannon, and W. H. Cowles.

The Panic of 1893 hurt the paper, and Cowles came to Spokane from Chicago to salvage it. He gained total control and created the The Spokesman-Review. Cowles was an important and influential businessman in Spokane. He was a founding member of the Spokane Chamber of Commerce, regional director of the Boy Scouts of America, and director for the Associated Press for thirty-three years. Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and William Howard Taft sought his advice.

The Cowles family still owns and runs the paper and are generous civic benefactors in Spokane.

One of the coolest parts of the building is the cafeteria, which has a sweet balcony with gargoyles. My mom worked her first newspaper job there as a writer/clerk and my grandma was in market research and advertising.

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