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Future architect Kirtland Cutter arrives in Spokane in 1886.
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In 1886, future architect, Kirtland Cutter (1860-1939), arrives in Spokane at the age of 26. Cutter is lured to Spokane Falls by his uncle, banker Horace Cutter. He will establish his practice in 1889, and over the next 34 years will become one of Spokane's most prolific and successful architects.
Cutter grew up near Cleveland on the estate of his great grandfather, the naturalist Jared Kirtland, who lived until Cutter was 17, and had a great influence on him. He attended the Art Students League in New York and traveled in Europe for several years before moving to Spokane Falls.
Historian Henry Matthews writes, "Cutter's charm and enthusiasm, as well as his talent for making beguiling sketches, may have been the key to obtaining commissions from Horace Cutter's business partners" (Matthews).
Cutter began working on mansions for James Glover, president of the First National Bank of Spokane, and businessman F. Rockwood Moore in 1889. Thereafter he designed numerous buildings in Spokane and as far away as Seattle and Southern California.
Henry Matthews, "Kirtland Cutter: Spokane's Architect," in Spokane and the Inland Empire: An Interior Pacific Northwest Anthology ed. by David H. Stratton (Pullman: WSU Press, 2005), 161-187; Henry Matthews, Kirtland Cutter in the Land of Promise (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998).
Note: This essay was revised slightly on March 25, 2009.
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