Meet the Neighbors

ARCHITECT KIRTLAND KELSEY CUTTER & HIS CLIENTS

The Homes and Characters of 7th Avenue

About the people and buildings that made "the Hill"  a fashionable and respectable address during Spokane's gilded age of the 1900's.

Kirtland Cutter  (1860-1939)

 

     In 1886 at the age of 26, Kirtland

was lured to Spokane Falls by his

uncle, banker Horace Cutter. Soon

after, he designs a home for his aunt

and uncle on a steep hill south of

downtown, on 7th Ave.

       Established in practice in

1889, he becomes one of Spokane's

most prolific and successful architects.

His residential designs dominate the

Hill, as the area between 7th and 8th

Ave. became known.

      He first designed the Moore

mansion, then the Glover Mansion, then one for attorney Henry Hoyt neaby, and then F. Lewis Clark's gatehouse immediately west of the Moore home. In 1898, he convinced his uncle to sell his property to D.C. Corbin, then designed a similar, larger home for Corbin's son Austin Corbin II, nearby. Both homes are still standing on the hill above 7th Ave. today.

Between the 188os and 1890s, K.K. Cutter designed several homes on Seventh Avenue, a nearly impenetrable, rugged hillside below a high basalt bluff. The view was panoramic. The first commission was “a cottage” for his Uncle Horace ~ later replaced by a Colonial Revival residence for railroad tycoon, Daniel Chase (D.C.) Corbin. During that time, Frank Rockwood Moore, 1st president of WWP (Avista), commissioned Cutter to design a lavish, multi-storied Tudor Revival home. 

When Moore died in 1885, U.S. Senator George Turner and his wife Bertha purchased the property where they went on to entertained government leaders, politicians, kings/queens and numerous dignitaries from around the world.

The Moore-Turner Home 

 

     Built for an up-and-coming businessman named Frank R. Moore and his wife, it was the first grand home on 7th Ave. At the time, some in the city criticized it for looking "too old". This picture, from a postcard, shows it as the home Senator and Mrs. George Turner knew, with well-established plantings.

 

Senator George Turner

LANDSCAPE DESIGNER HUGH BRYAN

In 1911, the Turners hired Portland’s Hugh Bryan to expand their gardens up the steep hillside behind their home. Influenced by the Olmsted Bros. (acclaimed American parks and landscape architects) Bryan created rock-walled terraces, steps and paths that traversed the hillside around reflecting pools, a pond, a tea house ~ and more. He planted colorful fragrant blossoming trees, shrubs and flowers. Sadly, from 1932 to 1996, the Moore-Turner House was demolished due to deferred maintenance, and the gardens and landscape features fell dormant to deterioration and disuse. Take a walk back in history with the images shared above.

THE RE-BIRTH OF THE GARDENS

THE 1996 ICE STORM’S “SILVER LINING”

When the 1996 ice storm desecrated the hillside, debris was cleared, uncovering features and fauna of the historic Gardens. The City of Spokane Parks & Recreation Department, the Spokane Park Board, and a generous financial gift from philanthropist Myrtle Woldson began the rehabilitation process of the hillside garden landscape.

SPOKANE REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES

Determined historically and architecturally significant, the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens and the D.C. Corbin House & Corbin Gardens were officially listed on the Spokane City/County Register of Historic Places in 2000 ~ the first designation of its kind in Washington State.

FRIENDS OF THE MOORE-TURNER HERITAGE GARDENS

After the hillside discoveries, dedicated volunteers came forward to help restore the Heritage Gardens. They eventually formed a non-profit 501c3 organization called Friends of The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens. Their goal from the start was to help maintain the gardens with trees, shrubs, flowers and design features used in 1911 ~ thus the term “Heritage.”