Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Hawthorne House (President's House)

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Institution Name: Whitworth College
Original/Historic Place Name: Petsch Family Home
Location on Campus: across St. from campus entrance
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1924original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: wood
Roof: composition shingle
1924-1942private residence
1942-present (2007)president's house

Significance: architecture, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The lot on which this house stands was part of an original parcel of land owned by Jay P. Graves, one of Spokane's most important land developers. When the college was lured to Spokane from Tacoma in 1914, Graves designated approximately 100 acres to be sold near the college with the funds being used to support college operations. This lot was part of that sale.

The home, completed in 1924, was originally owned by the George Petsch family. In 1942, it was purchased by the college and subsequently occupied by college president Frank Warren and his family. In 1963, Warren died in the house. After a series of renovations, Academic Vice-president Darrell Guder and his wife Judy began restoring the historic character of the house. In 1993, current Whitworth president Bill Robinson and his wife Bonnie moved into the home. Today, the Robinsons regularly host student and staff groups for informal conversations, receptions, and occasional student sing-a-longs at the piano with Bill and Bonnie.

The home is an important building in the history of Whitworth College and the source of many memorable experiences for current students.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Gray, Al. Not By Might: The History of Whitworth College. Spokane, WA: Whitworth College, 1965.

Soden, Dale E. A Venture of Mind and Spirit: An Illustrated History of Whitworth College. Spokane, WA: Whitworth College, 1990.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections, Facilities Management Office

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Last update: November 2006