Miller Block

You are looking at the Miller Block, built in 1890. Stanley Miller, a co-proprietor of the Spokane Ice Company, bought this land and had a two story wood-post building constructed in 1887. This building burned down during the great fire of 1889. Miller quickly rebuilt, and construction was complete in 1890. Miller succumbed to the economic depression of 1893 and lost his mortgage. In 1903 Daniel Drumheller, one of Spokane's early mayors, bought the Miller Block and soon resold it. James Leonard, a Spokane mining industrialist, purchased it from him, and then rented out the spaces inside the building. In 1906 the Sherman Clay Music Company moved in to the first floor while the upper three floors were used as a hotel. In 1910 Leonard died and his wife Anna took over his business investments.

In 1914 the building underwent a major redesign so that it could better suit the needs of the Clay Music Company. The building was strengthened with steel and concrete and the basement was deepened. Sound proof rooms were added as well as an auditorium large enough to fit 200 people. The fourth floor was equipped with a piano repair and refinishing plant. In 1924 the music company moved out and several telegraphs began operating out of the Miller Block. Because other telegraphs operated next door and the Davenport Hotel was directly across the street, this area of town was very busy. Other notable groups who have used the Miller Block include; the Arthur Murray Dance Studio, the Business and Professional Women's Club, the Canadian Legion, and various labor unions. In 1985 the Miller Block was combined with the neighboring Whitten Block and converted to house the Hotel Lusso.

The Miller Block was designed by William J. Carpenter. He used a Romanesque Revival style that reflects the design trends that were popular in Chicago before the turn of the century. The building's decorative facade is well preserved.

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Anna Leonard Ryan
Source: National Register of Historic Places Nomination
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