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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name John A. Finch School
Reference Number 13001061
State Washington
County Spokane
Town Spokane
Street Address N. 3717 Milton Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 1/8/2014
Link to full file
John A Finch School is eligible for NRHP placement, under Criterion A, for its contribution to the history of education in Spokane, Washington. It had its beginnings in the 1920s, when the City was making significant strides in expanding its elementary school opportunities, and was appropriately expanded several times as the population of the district it served increased. It continues to serve its originally intended purpose. John A Finch School is also eligible for NRHP placement, under Criterion C, at the local level, as an outstanding example of early public school architecture in Spokane. It is one of relatively few elementary school structures that have survived largely intact. The exterior and interior of the building retains excellent integrity of its historic appearance and original construction materials. Despite undergoing two major renovations, the design motifs and construction materials have been maintained throughout the changes. Furthermore, the room configuration of the interior has changed very little since the final major renovation in 1946. And many of the more distinguished interior design features have been retained as well, including original doorways, transoms, and windows. Some original chalkboard frames and cabinets remain as well. The Period of Significance begins in 1924, the date of completion of the original portion of the building, and extends to 1949, the year the last major alteration took place to the building. Finch School is the design of two of Spokane's most influential and prolific architects, Julius Zittel and George Rasque, both whom achieved praise and admiration for their devotion to the design of educational institutions. Zittel developed the initial Neo-classical design elements of the building, seen most strikingly in the central front entry, with its ornamental pediment, entablature, and columns. The lavish use of expensive terra cotta construction materials, begun by Zittel and faithfully continued by Rasque, is an indication of the School District's desire to create a lasting and monumental structure dedicated to the education of the City's northwest neighborhoods, comparable to those of the more pretentious south side. Although the final structure was not fully completed until over twenty years after it was envisioned, the result is an outstanding example of early Twentieth Century institutional architecture created by two of the area's most talented architects.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria