Gonzaga Celebrates Transformation of Home, Invites Spokane to Look into Its Past
SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University will open the doors of its elegant, turn-of-the-century Huetter Mansion to the Spokane community for an open house from 2-4 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 16. At 3 p.m., a Huetter family member will discuss the home’s history before Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloch discusses Gonzaga’s plans to care for its future.
The event will celebrate the transformation of the stately lady into the new home for the University’s Alumni Association, and invite the Spokane community to share in the grandeur of yesteryear by looking through the former flagship of the Logan neighborhood that has been repurposed and restored to its former elegance.
The historic, three-story structure was built at 429 E. Sharp Ave. as a private residence in approximately 1897 by John Huetter, who had worked on several of Gonzaga’s early construction projects. It later served as Bishop White Seminary for 51 years. The Catholic Diocese of Spokane donated the home to Gonzaga, which moved the 840,000-pound structure in a captivating, two-day effort July 23-24, 2008 across Addison Street to its new location at 503 E. Sharp Ave.
Its marvelous interior woodwork, crisp white trim, wraparound porch and symmetrical white pillars distinguish the building on Gonzaga’s campus. One could say it has grown more sophisticated and wise, like Gonzaga alumni themselves. With completion of the transformation of Huetter Mansion, Gonzaga alumni have found their ideal home.
“This place has stood as a landmark in the Logan neighborhood for years and I think it will be a great landmark for the University as well,” said Bob Finn, director of the Gonzaga University Alumni Association. “Alumni make up this University, as do students, so I think this will be more than a suitable residence.”
Among Gonzaga’s other plans for the mansion include its service as a home base for reunions, socials for individual classes, and providing office space upstairs for Gonzaga staff.
“What I really want to see are some of the people in the area that knew this house before it was even the Bishop White Seminary,” said Finn. “I’ve talked to some of the Huetter grandkids who remember running through the house and I’d love to see those people come together and see that the University did a great job of renovating the home.”
The Huetter Mansion sits directly across Sharp Avenue from the building known as the Crosby Alumni House at 508 E. Sharp Ave., the childhood home of Bing Crosby. The Crosby House, which had been home to the Gonzaga Alumni Association for 30 years, will be maintained by Gonzaga for special alumni events and remains a must-see destination for tourist and alumni alike while housing academic office upstairs.
For more information about house-warming plans for the new alumni home, please contact Gonzaga University Alumni Association Director Bob Finn at (509) 313-6100 or via e-mail.