Mary's Place

With my Mom usually being hospitalized every couple of years, the daily commutes involve trying to find a place to park at the hospital. There is a parking garage but I try to avoid that as much as possible. It also serves a medical office so it's always full. Another paid lot is convenient but owned by a typical big business and can get pricey. I usually try first at the smaller lot next to Mary's Place.

Mary's Place is quite an icon in Spokane. Built in 1906 with four stories and 25 rooms, the house was owned by 2 other families before Mary and her second husband moved in with 4 kids in 1944.

In the early days they took in boarders, many employees of the hospital, to fill up the 12 bedrooms. She also brought over nieces and nephews from Greece and put them through school while living there. They took a part of the yard out and turned it into a parking lot, charging 25 cents an hour. Mary would sit in the sunroom and tap on the window if she thought somebody had not paid.

Years ago my Sister-in-Law and I parked there and she actually came out of the house yelling at us, accusing us of not paying. My SIL just yelled back.

What's cool about the house though; other than the original satin wallpaper and the ballroom in the basement; is that she has refused all offers to sell to the hospital and they have been forced to build around it. The first offer of 200K came in the 60's and the hospital is probably still trying to this day.

Mary died in 1991 but her daughter lives in the home (parking is now a dollar for an hour and I handed her mine when she came out to empty the box) and it's owned by all of the kids. They say the house will not be sold in their lifetime.

On each floor of the hospital, at each window that overlooks Mary's Place, there is a plaque with an explanation of the home. I would feel weird knowing that hundreds of people on any given day are looking down into my yard though. It would kind of ruin that nude sunbathing thing.

I can't imagine the hospital can grow any more with the house still there. I wonder if future generations will stand by the stubbornness of one Greek woman and not sell out? I hope so.

Totally surrounded


Grumpy said…
I love these stories of people standing up to big business. Good for them.
Mr. Shife said…
I know that place. I wasn't aware of the history though so thanks for that kden. Have a good weekend.

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