Design of the Rainier Club

The Rainier Club also utilized an architectural vocabulary that was unusual in its day, and remains even more singular now. The structure was designed by architect Kirtland K. Cutter after the model of a half-timbered Elizabethan manor house which he had successfully used for the home of Judge Thomas Burke, a member of the club who was also on the Building Committee. Like the First United Methodist Church, however, something happened between the original concept and the final execution. The final design was in the Jacobethan Revival style, and was much more elaborate and picturesque than the previous concept. Particularly striking and unusual in its setting are the curvilinear parapet gables on all facades and the use of heavily textured dark flash-fired clinker brick.

The Spokane-based Cutter and his long-time partner Malmgren were known in the Seattle area from previous work for Thomas Burke (the Stimson-Green Mansion, now on the National Register of Historic Places). Cutter first gained acclaim with his design of the Idaho State Building at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. About this time Cutter and Malmgren formed a partnership and became know for building mansions for Spokane's elite. They also designed numerous structures after the 1889 Spokane fire. Commercial building to their credit include the Chronicle Building, Western Life Insurance Building, and the Public Museum in Spokane. Other commissions included Lewis-Clark Hotel in Lewiston, Idaho, Glacier National Park Hotel in Montana, and St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Walla Walla. Cutter was perhaps best known, however, for his design of the recently restored Davenport Hotel.

When Cutter began his residential practice, Queen Anne was the prevailing style. Cutter brought influences from the Arts and Crafts movement, the Shingle style, and other picturesque revival styles to his practice, as well as a deft hand in incorporating exotic references and materials. In Seattle, Cutter designed a house for Harry Krutz house in Shingle style; the C. D. Stimson house in a Tudor Revival style; the "Indian Room" for Judge Burke; the Seattle Golf and Country Club, inspired by Swiss chalets; another house in the Highlands for C. D. Stimson; and the Crary Building, a Chicago-style office block with Nuese and Willatson.


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