Spokane Architecture Featured in Exhibit

By Steve Jackson

A new exhibit at the Spokane museum of arts and culture takes a looks at a number of leading modern architects that called Spokane home.
When you think of famous Spokane architects, you probably think of Kirtland Cutter, who in the early 20th century designed several hundred buildings that established Spokane a place rivaling Seattle and Portland.
But most people don’t realize that the city was also home to numerous designers of Modern Architecture, in the period from post world war 2 to the early 1970’s.
Now a new exhibit at the Spokane Museum of Arts and Culture takes a look at those architects.
Aaron Bragg is with the design group Helvitica, which helped out together the exhibit SPOMa, or Spokane modern architecture:
Bragg: “In this 25 years period of time there were a number of highly trained architects living in this city at the same time, 3 had studied at Harvard with Albert Gropius,he had an 8 year waiting period just to get into that school, and three of our Spokane architects studied under him which is really remarkable.”

The exhibit features numerous photographs and some models of Homes, business and Churches that incorporate modern design.
Bragg says because the Modern architecture movement emphasized the building of structures that featured simplification of form and an absence of applied decoration, they aren’t always something you would notice.
Bragg: “You can drive right past modern homes because they are so situated to their site they don’t say look at me, they are almost hidden with the other homes.”

In addition to the displays, the exhibit also features a small theater, featuring 1950’s seating, and a 20 minute documentary film on Spokane modern architecture.

To enhance the feel of the era, the film features music composed by John Cage and recorded by Spokane musician Steven Drury.
The SPOMa exhibit will open Saturday at the Museum of Arts and Culture, and run until November.
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