Panarama View 1899 House Bed & Breakfast

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By 1899houseb13771320, Jan 27 2015 02:59AM

Spokane always has enough snow to satisfy skiiers, and there are connections to ski resorts in our "Things to Do" dropdown... but today, we had weather in the high 40's, allowing golf courses to open, and there were a lot of locals on them! In addition, we have had friends over for monthly "SoupSun(days)", sharing a wide variety of guest-brought soups and breads with just friends. We've also had a wine and cheese gathering or two, again just with friends. The House is not able to provide paying guests with wine or beer or other alcohol, and of course, while legal and 420-friendly as an establishment, all cannabis must be provided by the guests themselves.

Right now, we're rushing headlong into Superbowl 49 weekend, and you don't have to be in Arizona to enjoy a bigger than life Superbowl experience with the Seahawks and the Patriots and their balls. This year, as in the last two, the local Bing Crosby Theatre will broadcast it LIVE, FREE OF CHARGE, on its 30' screen, with surround sound. The Ovations and main lobby concessions and bar services will be available with theatre appetizers, and possibly other foods to enjoy. This was a LOT of fun last year, especially since we (the Seahawks) WON! If you're not in the mood to drive home, or know you won't be, the 1899 House B&B is .7 miles from the Bing. Even in bad weather, you could WALK it if you had to! Let us know if we can book you a room! All you have to be able to do is climb the stairs...

By 1899houseb13771320, Jan 26 2015 12:32AM

The 2014 holidays have passed, but though it was not a traditional "white Christmas" we had some lovely guests sharing the 1899 House hospitality with us, as well as the huge, glorious Pacific Northwest conifer that graced the bay window space. We had a few close friends over for our own Christmas Day leg of lamb dinner, but also had friends gather for seasonal eggnog (Gillian's Aunt Jo's Oklahoma recipe!), and a couple of potlucks. The traditional holiday letter each year begins with the full view photo, below, with Louie saluting whatever progress has been made on the exterior.

During our 115th year, "progress" included total restoration of the signature horseshoe balcony on the third floor, thanks to a grant from the Spokane Preservation Advocates. All Victorian trim colors were completed on the west and south entry porches and west windows. All storm windows on the west side were repointed and reglazed, painted and remounted. Damaged siding and moulding was replicated and installed, just as we were called away by a family emergency. When we returned, freezing weather and rain halted all further work on the house exterior.

It's hard to see all that was accomplished. You may also not have noticed that the tree Louie is standing by is no longer the large, ill-placed black locust. After starting an eletrical fire last winter, Spokane Urban Forestry removed it and its fellow elm, and replaced it with the small, red Persian Ironwood (or Parrot tree) you see. We hope to replace the shrubs as well, with topiary art, in spring 2015.

Work on the interior continues, as guests come and go. Our thanks go with them, as well as our many friends and supportive family. We are truly blessed!

By 1899houseb13771320, Dec 14 2014 12:53AM

It was 12 years ago this month; I took ownership of what is now one of Spokane’s newest and romantic Bed and Breakfasts. The mansion was built for $35,000 in 1899 for a former mayor Edward Louis Powell, his wife Dora, and their five children (no TV back then).

The photograph below was brought over by the late Jack Rigby a surviving grandson and local Spokane lawyer. Jack was born in the house in 1932. Jack and his wife came with a wealth of information; scrapbook, pictures, and stories. If you are wondering about ghosts….yes, we have ghosts. Lynn can tell you about those spirits from first-hand experiences, but we will save that for another entry.

How did we come to take on the challenges of starting a Bed & Breakfast? In another life, I used to fly to work a lot. I would get on a plane, and go to work. Remember George Clooney’s character in the movie Up in the Air? THAT was MY life!

When you do a lot of flying, you tend to sleep in many strange beds. I learned very quickly the hospitality industry from guest’s perspective, such as all the little special things people and companies do to say, “welcome’. One grows tired of hotels! Imagine living at the Gainesville Hilton for a month, or the Dallas Airport Marriot for 3 months. I was moved out my hotel room in Costa Rica after the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) decided to take over the hotel for a convention--I was considered a security risk—no apologies. I had been there for over 6 weeks—you’d think they would have checked me out by then. We will save that for another day too.

At the beginning, I figured turning a 5-unit sliced up mansion/apartment/ money pit into a bed and breakfast would be a piece of cake. The house has got good bones and made of real 2 x 4s; it has original wood trim and floors, and many other “originals”. Natural attrition took care of the tenants living there when I purchased the property, along with raising the rent occasionally, but my eyes slowly began to open: after the $218K full price purchase, the improvements on the infrastructure began, and as in all such dreamy projects, it proved costly. An updated 94% energy efficient furnace added with central AC. Our summer guests really enjoy that unexpected modern luxury, along with wet bars, jetted tubs, shower panels, and heated towel bar…oh my—we are the only licensed B&B in Spokane that has both central air and heat systems.

Lynn joined this Team and effort in 2010 with restoration of the second floor’s wood flooring for all rooms, the hallway and stairs, and she and I are still at it, continuing improvements each year. Winter came early this year and this is where we are: After completing the guest entry and porch last fall, paint and storm window repairs were completed on the West face this year. The south face received the needed repairs and its porch its Victorian colors, thanks to our winning a SPA grant, but the temperatures went below 40 degrees F, in November, and the outside projects crawled into hibernation. We are both grateful for the love we share and the marvelous home we steward.

We started our third year of actual Bed & Breakfast business this month, planning for 2015 with our travel partners VisitSpokane , and Kush Tourism. Did you say “Kush”? Yes, we are a cannabis/marijuana (or “4/20”)-friendly lodging facility. We are accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and have found ourselves full most of the weekends, from April through October…so reservations are needed…in advance, preferably. This is what happens when you only have two huge luxury suites to offer on a short-term basis.

Check out our virtual tour: Thanks for reading our blog, and please offer comments on what makes a great place to stay.

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