Liberty Building History

In The Beginning (Pre 1908)

The corner of Main and Washington was listed as a lumber yard in 1893. Before that 
it was the site of the City Market Grounds, the bustling and colorful equivalent of today’s farmers’ markets. When the Great Fire of 1889 erupted the lot served “as a fire break 
to stop the spread across Washington Street.”

Historic Spokane, Main St, Spokane, Spokane History, Lumber Yard

Corner of Main and Washington Pre 1908. Courtesy of the Spokane Public Library.

 

Kemp and Hebert (1908 – 1939)

Built in 1908, Kemp and Hebert was one of Spokane’s first department stores. Charles Kemp and Henry Hebert were drawn to Spokane’s post fire economy. The company grew quickly into one of the largest retail 
and wholesale businesses in the Northwest.

Kemp and Hebert Department Store

Kemp and Hebert Department Store

 

Spokane Army Air Forces Depot (1942-1944)

The Great Depression was rough on Kemp & Hebert. It went out of business in 1939 and
the building stood vacant until 1942 when it was drafted into the service. It became the new headquarters for the Army’s Spokane 
Air Forces Depot, the precursor to what is 
now Fairchild Air Force Base.

Spokane Army Air Depot

Spokane Army Air Depot moving into the Liberty Building

 

Liberty Furniture (1944-1986)

The Levitch brothers, Abe and Meyer, bought the building in 1944 and moved their Liberty Furniture Store to the site and operated a thriving retail business until closing in 1986.

Liberty Furniture

Liberty Furniture

 

Liberty Building (1993-Present)

In 1993 Shannon Ahern and Chris O’Harra bought the Kemp & Hebert building and renamed it the Liberty Building.  With the 1994 remodel Auntie’s Bookstore moved into the building and the first Uncle’s Games was opened.

Liberty Building Under Construction

Fourth Floor of the Liberty Building Under Construction before the atrium was opened back up.

 

Liberty Building Today

The Liberty Building as seen today with our newest neighbor the Davenport Grand Hotel.

Liberty Building Spokane Today

Liberty Building as seen from the corner of Main and Washington