Cigar smoking, whisky drinking, mining tycoon John A. Currie built one of Spokane’s most distinctive homes in 1889.
Currie, a real estate and mining tycoon, built his three-story home for an estimated $7000. Located near the Gentleman’s Riding Club and Racetrack, now Corbin Park, Currie and his buddies would watch horse races from the third story turret while smoking cigars and drinking whiskey. In 1891, Lot Slocum, a trotter race horse, broke the speed record at the Gentleman’s Riding Club with a speed of two minutes and seventeen seconds. Currie was also involved with politics. He was elected city councilman for Spokane’s Fourth Ward in 1893. A reporter approached him about running for mayor in 1895. Currie replied “I shall not be a candidate or allow my name as such for any public office this year.”
In 1902, Currie sold his home to James Lake Ford and his wife. Ford moved his family to Spokane from Kentucky after hearing about Spokane’s lucrative business opportunities. He too made a fortune in the mining business and the Ford family lived in the home for 25 years. In 1917, Ford had indoor plumbing installed, however he insisted his family use the outhouse in the backyard. It was not until the sewer lines were built in 1924 that Ford gave in to modern conveniences and demolished the outhouse.
Over the years the Currie House had several different owners and renovations. In 1967, Charles and Evelyn Packard purchased the property. Evelyn loved pink and decided to make over the entire interior and exterior various shades of pink. “The Pink House,” as it became known locally, remained raspberry pink for thirty years. In 1997, Jeff and Kris Dailing purchased the property and with the assistance of Spokane Preservation Advocates the pink siding was removed renovation began to restore the Currie house to its former glory. Their renovation work was featured in HGTV’s “If Walls Could Talk” in November 1, 2001.
The following years have not been kind to the Currie house. The Dailing’s dropped plans to convert the property into a bed and breakfast. Instead they began to rent it to tenants who in turn ruined the ten years of restoration work put into it. Despite being added to Spokane Register of Historic Places in 1999, the Currie House is in poor condition. In 2014, the bank foreclosed on the property and it was put up for auction. The property sold for $89,777 in 2015, and it’s future is unknown.