Spokane History Timeline

The Review Tower, Home to Spokane's Newspapers - 1891

Spokesman Review Tower

The Review Tower is historic landmark that was built in 1891 in Spokane. It was the tallest building in the downtown area for 10 years, and has an unusual shape. Under different names the Spokesman Review has been a major newspaper in Spokane and has been located in the Review Tower from 1891 to now, almost 125 years later. The Review Tower is located at the intersection of two downtown streets: Monroe and Riverside. The Review Tower construction began in March 1890 and was completed in October 1891. The architect was Chauncy B. Seeton.
The tower was built following the great fire that burned down many buildings in downtown Spokane. On opening day, 8,000 people came to stare skyward at the tower. The tower was made with a steel structure that would be fireproof. It was concrete and red brick that would not burn.

The upper flowers included living area for the publisher of the Newspaper. The building was to cost $100,000, but ended up costing much more. It was so expensive that the original owners went bankrupt and the new publisher of the newspaper became William Cowles. Members of the Cowles family still publish the newspaper today. In the winter of 1898, the Cowles had a baby girl who lived in the apartment of the tower, where it was very cold. They put their daughter’s basket in the bathtub to avoid the draft.

The front entrance of the building has attractive pink and red Tennessee marble. The marble is 395 million years old. Also the walls in the lobby are yellow marble from Italy. The Review Tower is one of the most beautiful buildings in Spokane and it has a very cool shape. The Cowles family has taken good care of this important downtown landmark.

copyright (c) 2007, Discovery School.
All rights reserved.
Report created May, 2005.
Rev ised: August 26, 2007; 10/4/2009
Last Modified on July 31, 2011