20 May 2013

Spokane, The Ferris House

Image 9_Interior m4 by Spokane Midcentury

Image 9_Interior m4, a photo by Spokane Midcentury on Flickr.

It's seems that sometimes, even though we spend much of our time looking and researching, we can easily miss well known architecture. Recently, I was scouting around for some information on the Oyler house, and I ran across this gem of a mid-century modern house*.

Below you will find a digital magazine featuring the Ferris House. (Don't let the first page fool you.)

Spokane CDA Living, March 2013 Being built for Joel Ferris and wife, this house followed their ideal of how life should be lived. Modernly... Fighting the norm of the time, Mr and Mrs Ferris had to work for their house. Even having to find a new location because the lot they had picked out originally had was in a subdivision that would not permit their progressive ideal of living. Not giving up, they were able to find land thru a family member that allowed them to build the now famous Ferris house.

While they had originally intended to use Royal McClure as architect for their home. However, the design presented to the Ferris family, being what they felt was to easily viewed by family members property, lead them to finally using another architect, Bruce Walker.

At the same time that Mr. Walker was working on the Ferris house, he was also working on a project with Mr. Lawrence Halprin, a famed landscape architect. As Mr. Halprin was in the area working and could take on the smaller individual project, he made his services available to the Ferris couple and literally helped shape their future and environment. 

Over the years, the Ferris house was modestly expanded and modified, always using architect William Trogdon, who had worked with Bruce Walker at the same firm. Due to this, the modifications are tasteful and keep in line with the original design sense.

Mr. and Mrs. Ferris were early proponents of the modern way of living. In fact, Mr. Joel Ferris opened the first modern home wares store in the area of Spokane, Wa.. As such, he, his family, and home have had an important impact on modern history in that area and even further.

If you like to find out more details on individual aspects of the Ferris family, house, architect, landscape, location, or just see the video tour of the house and grounds, you can visit the official site at

Beyond just being a very inspiring, simple, and beautiful house, I love that this house is a self proponent showing that mid-century modern* can be sustainable and even, dare I say it, tastefully expanded and added onto. That is, if one chooses too.

If your interested in books and more info on Lawrence Halprin, here are a few books that are currently available.

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