The Hotel Upton – 1910

Known more for school buildings, Spokane architect L.L. Rand was the man behind the Hotel Upton. (Photograph courtesy of the Spokane Historic Preservation Office)

Architect/Builder: Loren L. Rand

The Hotel Upton was build in 1910 by Andrew Laidlaw of the Imperial Investment Company, with Loren L. Rand as the architect.  L.L. Rand was a prominent Spokane architect and also designed over 12 public schools in Spokane.  The Upton was built at a cost of $50,000 and was finished in June of 1910.  At four stories high, the building was noted as being quite substantial in size for the city.

The Hotel Upton featured 102 rooms on the top three floors with the first-floor housing commercial and retail businesses.  There were seven spaces for businesses on the ground floor.  These spaces housed hardware stores, grocery stores, and coffee shops.  These businesses did quite well due to the location of the hotel and its proximity to the central business district.  Located at the west end of the district, it was easy for hotel guests to walk to work and for foot traffic to the stores on the lower floor.

The single occupancy rooms on the second, third, and fourth floors featured natural light, hot and cold running water, and a wardrobe for their belongings.  Initially, there were only fifteen rooms that featured a private bathroom with the rest of the guests sharing public facilities on each floor, which was common for most SROs.  The Upton was state of the art for its time, with gas and electric lights, steam heat, and a telephone for guest use.  Short term housing was very common at this hotel, with many guests being seasonal laborers or those needing a place to lay their head while searching for more permanent accommodations.  However, like many SROs, the hotel did advertise special rates for those needing long term accommodations.

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Source: “Hotel Upton.” Historic Properties of Spokane. Spokane Historic Preservation Office. Accessed May 30, 2018. http://properties.historicspokane.org/property/?PropertyID=1836