Amasa B. Campbell House

The Amasa B. Campbell House (hereafter referred to as the “Campbell House”) was built in 1898 for Amasa B. Campbell, his wife Grace, and their daughter Helen. Designed by renowned architect Kirtland Cutter and Karl Malmgren, the price for construction was $30,000, although the house with custom furnishings (also designed by Kirtland K Cutter) are estimated to be closer to a total cost of $70,000. It was financed by Campbell’s fortunes made in silver mining in the Coeur d’Alene region northeast of Spokane.

Helen Campbell bestowed her family home to the Eastern Washington State Historical Society and the Cheney Cowles Museum in the 1920s. Locally it is called the Campbell House, and is now part of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. It is open for tours which we highly recommend!

The Campbell House at 2316 W. 1st Avenue, Spokane, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. 

MPF Conservation assessed several items over two days. The house was closed during that time, a snowy January. Winter cleaning and repairs had begun. This is why you will see ladders and cleaning supplies all around us.

While on site, MPFC advised Campbell House on the best way to proceed with the preservation of the historic drapes, furnishings (free-standing and built-in), discussed problems with the upholstered walls in the Reception Room, along with the applied decorative wall-mounted architectural elements. We also assessed assess the relative humidity absorbed by the textural lime and sand walls, and how they might be treated to prevent degraded sand from sifting through the textiles and disintegrating soft weaves.

This is one of the most beautiful house museums; we recommend a visit!

Entry Hall

The Entry Hall is spectacular with gilded walls, beautiful dark paneling and carved modified Corinthian columns, right and above, flanking the stairs which lead to the core of the home.

Below left, an image circa 19th century, which gives a feel to how far and wide the hallway is at the top of the stairs. Note the Green man chair discussed bottom has a tapestry, not a velvet showcover.

Over the massive front door is a set of armour, seen below. The armour style is likely Spanish, which was predominately used during the rein of Phillipe II (16th century), outfitting soldiers in the long campaign to dominate Spanish Flanders prior to relinquishing the Netherlands. What is there does not constitute a panaply (full set of armour). The morion (the helmet) is distinctively Spanish from the 16th Century. This one was cut in half to hang, below left.

The breastplate, pollaxe and what appear to be a type of sword are covered with delicate vine-work, coats of arms, and other imagery.

The hanging fixture also reflects the armour, left, as it looks quite like a shield, and includes a small chain and mace hanging from the chains which hold the lights.

When we visited we were not on tour, and so had no time to discuss the oddity of the accoutrements, as no other warfare items were on display anywhere else in the house.

It is unlikely this is real armour, but is probably a popular design element cast in pewter during the time period the house was built.

Also on the walls on each side of the entry are tapestries depicting bucolic scenes of windmills and castles set into wall-mounted frames which integrate into the decorative frame and panel construction, left and below.

The Green Man Fauteuil, above, normally sits in the Entry Hall.

It is ebonized white oak, relief-carved with two mythological creatures, the Green Man and what appear to be two guardian Pixie images, one on each stile, with embellished relief-carved Spanish feet.

Originally the showcover was a tapestry, shown in the black and white image above, not the rich velvet shown in these images. It was reupholstered before we assessed items, and worth noting.

References: Wikipedia, Plate Armour.

Continue to other pages to view: