The Davenport Hotel

The defining moment of the life and career of Melville Holmes was perhaps his involvement with the renovation of Spokane, Washington’s historic Davenport Hotel. Sadly, his appointment as director of its aesthetic projects began with the loss of his beloved wife, Janice, who inspired the color scheme of the Marie Antoinette Ballroom. Her portrait remains there as part of its legend.

Holmes went on to other projects in the Davenport Collection, most notably the Davenport Tower. His handiwork extended to the “Elephant Parade” reliefs of the Safari Room, the “Edge of the Jungle” mural there, the wall treatment, and many of the furnishings of the guest rooms.

“The Davenport Hotel, was the most modern hostelry in the United States when it opened in 1914. It was the first hotel with air conditioning, the first with a pipe organ, and the first with a central vacuum system. The Davenport Hotel shut down in 1985. But local entrepreneurs, Walt and Karen Worthy bought the hotel in 2000 and gave it a top-to-bottom renovation. The Davenport is grand again!”

The Davenport Hotel: Grand Again (PBS documentary), narrated by Ellen Travolta