May 24th, 2019
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12/23/2002 - Morgan Building Rises from the Ashes

The Morgan Building, at 315 W Riverside, is ready for leasing. Formerly called the Fairmont, this vintage 1910 building was a victim of the arson fire that destroyed the Mars Hotel. The interior was declared a total loss, and the structure was gutted. However, the building’s tawny brick exterior remained intact. Wells and Company purchased the shell, and is restoring the building to be a Class A office center.

The Morgan building, even after a devastating fire, still has a lot of charm, and some major attributes of interest. The building was clearly built to last. The sub-floors are built from clear 3-inch x 17-inch beams. The bearing pillars are massive timbers, and the floor wood is not only thick and strong, it is beautiful. The building material was so well chosen that it is still fire rated today.

The building has six stories with two large light wells in the interior that are open to the sky for light and air. All new windows, made to look like the originals, have been installed. Windows that had been boarded up have been opened. New high-speed elevators move at 350 feet per minute, and the building is ADA compliant.

Ron and Julie Wells have worked their usual magic in making the new interior of the Morgan building look vintage. The chandelier Julie Wells found in an antique shop in Walla Walla heavily influenced the décor for the spacious lobby opening on Riverside. New light fixtures were found to match. The floor is done in black and white tile, with black granite borders. A mirrored wall makes the space seem even bigger.

The Morgan fronts on both Sprague and Riverside, and the original architect and builder had to deal with the problem that Sprague street is about one floor higher than Riverside at that point. The ceiling is level on the ground floor from Riverside to Sprague; but the floor plan varies with platforms and mezzanines. The second story is also affected by the topography, and its ceiling is lower. The third floor spans the entire building, high ceilinged and spacious --- this is an incredible raw space. Only the fourth floor is finished at this time, because Wells wants to build and finish to suit the lessee.

Even more impressive is the physical plant. In a newly rebuilt vault under the sidewalk is an Avista transformer with room for a second one if it is ever needed. Inside is a large Siemens electrical plant. The HVAC is state of the art and computer controlled. Even the locking system has its own computer. High-speed connectivity is being designed in. Each floor has a large equipment room that is large enough for expansion.

The Morgan Building has 75,000 square feet of leasable space, with retail on the ground level. Office suites are available from 800 sq. ft. and up. Parking is available. Wells and Company will build to suit. The lessee can have the space as “rough” or as polished as they choose --- either extreme or anywhere in the middle. For more information, contact Spencer Stromberg at (509) 624- 8050 or e-mail

Billie Moreland
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