History

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Welcome to the Glover Mansion! 

The Glover Mansion was designed by Spokane architect Kirtland cutter for James Glover, known as the father of spokane. It was Cutters first major commission, done when he was 23 years old.

James Glover arrived in Spokane in 1872 from Portland Oregon with $6000. He quickly began purchasing  property in and around the future downtown area. 160 acres in all on the south bank of the river up the hill. He made most of his money in real estate and started the first bank in the city. 

The Mansion was finished in 1888, one year before the Spokane fire that destroyed downtown. It is 12000 total square feet of space with 8 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. It is constructed entirely of granite from quarries around the little Spokane river. There are 8 different types of wood used in the house from northwestern red fir to Minnesota oak and Spanish cherry. When he and his wife Susan moved into the house it was just the two of them and 12 domestic servants on the third floor.

Most of what you see on the first floor is original including the wall fabrics in the dining room and on the mezzanine. The blue fabric in the great hall is around 70 years old. It replaced a copper colored fabric that you can see running across the top of the wall on the second floor above you. We would love to replace it one day and have found the original pattern in England. 

The original heat supply was a wood and coal fired boiler in the basement that supplied radiant heat.  It was taken out of service (it had been converted to gas) in 2005 and replaced it with a high-pressure HVAC system. You see the holes in the floor and the walls above. One summer without air-conditioning was enough! There was also an early attempt at air-conditioning in the house. A manifold of pipes that had cold well water pumped through them and a fan that shot cold air though the vents in the floor of the great hall and the dining room. 

The original lot ran to the top of the hill behind the house up to Sumner, west about 200 feet and east another 100 yards. Over successive ownership it was sold off down to its present size of 1/2 acre. 

Glover himself only owned the house for 5 years and lost it in the panic of 1893. He was said to have lost over $1.5 million during that time. Kirtland Cutter then designed him a more modest bungalow on summit blvd on the north side of town. He lived there until his death in 1921. 

As far as we can tell there have been 8 owners of the property in 128 years. Quite a few when you consider that two of the owners, The Welsh family and the Unitarian church combined to own it from 1908 – 1992. A total of 84 of 128 years. 

Some other fun facts. Rub your hands against the top of the lions mouths on the fireplace. You will see that one is worn and the other still has ridges. Its amazing that kind of detail and that one of the lions would get that much more attention.

Mrs Welch had the peacocks on the ceiling painted over because she felt they were bad luck. They were later restored. Everything else on the ceiling, a combination of water colors and oil are original. 

The elevator, which has been modernized was the first residential elevator in Spokane. It was installed in 1908 works well and is amazingly slow. 

The current owners, Bob and Kimberly Adolfson, who met in Seattle in 1985, purchased the house in 2004 to start Glover Mansion events. Bob grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga prep, Spokane falls and WSU. Kimberly grew up in Gig harbor Wa and attended high school there. She graduated from UW, went on to get her masters from Gouchers college in Baltimore and recently her PHD from WSU. She is an Asst. Professor at Cal State Fresno. Needless to say, Bob knows who has the brains in the family! They have two children, Kyle who is finishing up at Eastern this year and Meagan, who was married at the mansion just this September and lives and works in Washington DC.

 

 

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