“Jaw-dropping” is an apt description of this Midcentury Modern home. Set along the Spokane River, the dreamy setting is rivaled only by the home’s beautifully preserved design. Luckily for you, this gem is on the market.
Curtis Estate History
John Culler, a regionally acclaimed architect whose firm was associated with Perkins and Will of Chicago, designed the Curtis Estate in 1955.
From the Keller Williams Real Estate team:
Set on 2.4 private acres of primary waterfront and just 10 minutes from downtown Spokane, Washington, it is a masterpiece of midcentury design. Architect John Culler (Carnegie Institute of Technology 1938) was well known in the region for his commercial design (over 74 schools, churches, university housing facilities, community centers and federal buildings). The most memorable design was for the Spokane Indians Ballpark, which was a 3-month design/build project to house the Triple A farm club for the new LA Dodgers in 1958.
In 2014, owners Bo and Molly Cooke purchased the home from the children of MG Curtis, who was a concrete supplier for the region’s hydroelectric facilities. The estate showed Curtis’s strong ties to the medium with the concrete pool, surrounds, massive deck systems and use of steel. The Cookes spent three years restoring the entire estate, which included refurbishing the boathouse, pool, decks, landscaping, gates, lighting, window systems, mechanical system, and commercial roof.
Midcentury Modern Home Details
- Post-and-beam red iron structure
- 77 linear feet of floor-to-ceiling windows
- River views from nine rooms
- Bedrooms : 5
- Bathrooms: 3.5
- Square Feet: 4,941
- Radiant and forced air heating
- Salt water pool
- Windows and roof installed in 2016
A History of Stewardship
When homes are passed down with stories, their history is made all the more beautiful. Luckily for the Cookes, the son of the original owner had an amusing tale to share that can now be passed on to the next owners.
According to Bo, the son of the original owner said, “My dad made my mom wait 10 years before he allowed her to put a single nail into the paneling of the basement. He told me each gum wood panel they used cost $160 in 1955.”
Bo calculated how many sheets of gumwood paneling are in the basement and tallied up the cost. The result? About $5,000 spend on this rare paneling—in 1955 dollars! That would be almost half the cost of a home at the time, most of which averaged $12,000.
“The upstairs paneling is a specialty Philippine mahogany wall system that was even more expensive than gumwood. This gives perspective of the cost and quality the Curtis family invested in this home. According to the architect’s family, the Curtis family had a ‘rather generous budget’,” says Bo.
The ultimate compliment to the home’s carefully preserved state came when the Curtis granddaughters toured the home—as did the daughters of architect John Culler—all of whom commented on how much they appreciated the care the Cookes took to restore and honor the home’s original design and intent.