The Fernwell Building at the corner of
Riverside Avenue and Stevens Street
The Fernwell Building, designed by Hermann Preusse, is one of Spokane's older buildings, built in 1891. Housing a men's clothing store for 90 years on its main floor, it provided office space for prominent doctors, lawyers, dentists, architects, and insurance firms on the second and third floors. Hotel rooms were located on the fourth and fifth floors with a dining room occupying part of the sixth floor.
In 1985, after nearly a century of outstanding service that wore her down, a complete renovation recreated the Fernwell Building, a brand new Building inside a beautiful century old classic structure. Major upgrades continue to be made, making the Fernwell Building the premier location to do business in Downtown Spokane.
The History of the Fernwell Building
The Fernwell and Mohawk Buildings
The Mohawk Building (located next to the Fernwell on the east) fell into disrepair and was demolished with the rest of the "Rookery Block" in 2007, leaving the Fernwell as a stand-alone building.
The owner and builder of the Fernwell Building was Rollin Charles Hyde, who named the building after his deceased son Fernwell Albon Hyde. As banks and financial firms failed during the panic of 1893, so did Mr. Hyde's fortune. Over three days in May, he became penniless. Rollin Hyde worked the next three years as a janitor in the building and was thankful for the job. He was kind, hardworking, and was said never to have had any bitterness about his lost fortune. Mr. Hyde eventually moved to Southern Idaho and spent the rest of his life farming. On October 17, 1945, he died from injuries suffered in a farming accident at the age of 88. His obituary said he was a farmer but he always thought of himself as a builder.
ROLLIN CHARLES HYDE