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Walla Walla History
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Walla Walla History
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Courtesy Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce

Substantial and Stunning, Walla Walla's Architecture is Rich in History

Walla Walla's historic main street buildings and nearby historic homes are rich examples of America s architectural history. Visitors to downtown stroll though history as they walk down East Main (the original Main Street since the 1840s) in the heart of Walla Walla with guide book in hand and learn the stories behind the town s business buildings. For example, the Reynolds-Day Building, now home to Falkenberg's Jewelers, was built in 1874 and is one of the oldest buildings on Main Street. There, in 1878, early politicians held Washington s first State Constitutional Convention. One of the most unusual buildings on Main Street, the Liberty Theatre, was restored and remodeled in 1991 by the Bon Marche department store. The restored exterior is white painted brick with an A-frame roof and gargoyles. The lobby of the theatre still exists, and the original concession stand is now a coffee and sandwich shop.

Walla Walla's neighborhoods are dotted with period homes ranging from an 1859 log cabin, to mansions, to the Stone-Jacky House modeled after plans by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Visitors can take a self-guided driving tour of these historic homes. One of the homes, the 1884 Governor Moore Mansion, is owned by a rock musician and his wife, who have restored the home. This Painted Lady is a Victorian style house in bright coral, with green, yellow, rust, white and periwinkle accents. The exterior of the home is asymmetrical, with lots of interesting details, brackets, spindle work and more. Visitors can see log homes at the Fort Walla Walla Museum, where actors in period costume reenact the daily lives of early settlers.

Information about the downtown walking tour and Walla Walla's historic homes can be found through the Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce, www.wallawalla.org or 877-998-4748.

After Touring Historic Architecture, Sleep at a Historic Hotel

Today's luxuries in a vintage setting are found at the Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center, newly reopened after a multi-million-dollar renovation. The hotel, which first opened in 1928, has hosted many historic meetings. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Lyndon Johnson have been among its guests.

For more information, call 509-525-2200 or visit www.marcuswhitmanhotel.com.

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