Skip to content
Kirtland Cutter and the Arts and Crafts Movement

Kirtland Cutter and the Arts and Crafts Movement

Kirtland Cutter
Kirtland K. Cutter

After the devastating Spokane fire of 1889, the city reinvented itself under the capable hands of architects like Kirtland Kelsey Cutter.  With 32 city blocks reduced to ashes, Cutter stepped up with architectural force and brilliant designs stretching from the Gilded Age to the Great Depression.

 Kirtland Cutter's Chalet Hohenstein
Kirtland Cutter's Chalet Hohenstein - Spokane, WA

Around the turn of the 20th century, Cutter received great opportunities to design extravagant and luxurious homes for the city’s wealthy businessmen.  He was gifted in designing homes conducive to entertaining, such as the Finch, Corbin, and Clark homes.  Most of Cutter’s work was done in the Spokane area, along with several structures designed in Seattle, California, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, and New York.

Idaho Building Kirtland Cutter
Idaho Building - 1893 Chicago World's Fair

McDonald Lodge Kirtland Cutter
McDonald Lodge - Glacier National Park, MT

Glover Mansion Kirtland Cutter
Glover Mansion - Spokane, WA

During his career, Cutter employed notable partners including John C. Poetz and Karl Gunnar Malmgren.  Rising to fame in 1893 at the Chicago World's Fair, Cutter was the architect of the Idaho building, which was hailed as the precursor of the arts & crafts movement.  He received many notable contracts throughout his career, including the Rainier Club in Seattle, the McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park, the Rookery Building on the corner of Riverside and Howard, the White House Store, the First National Bank and the law firm of Augustine, Bean and Hoyt.  Cutter also constructed the F. Rockwood Moore house (now the Moore Turner Memorial Gardens) and the James Glover Mansion, which is currently used for events.

Monroe Street Bridge
Monroe Street Bridge - Spokane, WA

Cutter had a rakish ability to combine seemingly conflicting styles into delightfully unique finished spaces.  Notable examples include the Moorish-Oriental-French-Roman style used in the Patsy Clark home and the Gothic-Tudor homes of F. Lewis Clark and Louis Davenport.  Many of his designs are still visible and beautifully kept, especially the Davenport Hotel, the Spokane Club, Monroe Street Bridge, the Sherwood Building, the Chronicle Building and numerous mansions in and around Spokane.

Previous article Native American Crooked Knives
Next article Skookum Dolls


Lynn Fleming - September 18, 2018

Thank you for this early morning history fix- so glad to see Cisco’s keeping history in our lives. Knowing the origins and backdrop are critical to our area and I respect the perspective you bring to us.

Thank you for your rooting out our roots.

patricia - September 18, 2018

What a great way to keep customers or potential customers in the know! It’s stories or tasty tidbits that I wouldn’t always find on my own and I gotta say…’s always interesting, it’s always informative and it’s always appreciated!

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields