The Globe Hotel – 1908

The Globe Hotel, where weary travelers and workers rested their heads. (Photograph courtesy of the Spokane Historic Preservation Office. )

Architect/Builder: Albert Held

The Globe Hotel was constructed in 1908 during a time of Spokane’s most rapid period of growth.  The hotel was designed to accommodate the city’s influx of working-class citizens.  Located on the corner of Main and Division streets, construction began in 1905 and was completed in 1908 at a cost of $80,000, which was quite expensive at the time.  The building was initially called the Janet Block, named after owner Henry Sorg’s wife.  The hotel was commonly referred to as “The Globe” due to the hotel’s desire to extend their hospitality around the world.              

The Globe Hotel opened with 72 single occupancy rooms, 32 featuring private bathrooms, and a window in every room.  As an attempt to distance themselves from other SROs, each room also featured brass beds and quarter sawn oak furniture.  Hotel advertising touted the hotel as a modern building with all of the conveniences and amenities a person might need – steam heat, hot and cold water, private baths, and even telephones.  A clipping from the November 11, 1908 issue of the Spokesman Review advertised the Globe with “not a dark room in the hotel” and rates starting at “75-cents per day and up.” Typical of the era, the street-level spaces were utilized for commercial businesses.  A bar and tavern, kitchenware distribution center, a furniture showroom, and a meeting place for the Japanese-American Club were some of the uses for this space.

Guests traveling from as close as Oregon to as far away as Sweden rented rooms at the hotel, and the occupations of these men and women varied as well.  Merchants, salesman, railroad men, laborers, engineers, insurance agents, bartenders, carpenters, and cooks were among the lodgers.  Patrons were attracted to the hotel via runners, called solicitors, to the railroad stations.  These men would act as porters, bringing potential patrons and their luggage to the hotel.  The Globe Hotel provided lodging to the working-class citizens and travelers passing through for 60 years before closing in 1965.  The commercial spaces of the building are still in use today, while the upper floors which were occupied by the hotel remain vacant. 

Find me!  204 N. Division St., Spokane, WA

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Source: “The Globe.” Historic Properties of Spokane. Spokane Historic Preservation Office. Accessed May 30, 2018. http://properties.historicspokane.org/_pdf/properties/property-1808.pdf