In the early 1900s life was changing. As cities grew, real estate close to the city centers was becoming sparse and expensive. Public transpiration options in many cities, such as Spokane, was not readily available which made living outside of the city a problem. Across the nation, people began living full time in apartment buildings. These buildings offered affordable living in urban hubs, where real estate was considerably more expensive. Apartment dwellers were generally bachelors, widows or small families. The apartment craze struck Spokane. Early apartments were built on the premise and approach of building a large home, which was divided into units. This was the approach taken in the Amman apartments located just down Riverside Avenue at 1516. This approach was abandoned since it did not provide enough units. The approach that was adopted was that of building an apartment to look and feel like a luxury hotel. This was the approach used at the San Marco.
The San Marco building, built in 1904 is located on a triangular lot. Albert Held used a V shape design in this triangular structure, enclosing an open courtyard with the two apartment wings. The San Marco was designed with the upper echelon of Spokane's residence in mind, and provided the architectural styling and amenities, such as a large lobby, the elite expected. The San Marco is a great example of historic restoration and is still in use as an apartment building today.