Hartline School Preservation Association
Hartline School Preservation Association


Historically significant architecture:

The historic Hartline School building, completed in 1922, is one of the oldest and best preserved “rural brick schoohouses” in eastern Washington. Its high degree of structural integrity conveys the building’s unique historic character. The building was designed by Frederick Westcott and Howard Gifford’s Spokane architectural firm. It is an excellent example of their collaboration and interpretation of the Colonial Revival style of architecture.

Frederick E. Westcott is considered a master architect by the City/County of Spokane Historic Preservation Office. He designed many fine homes and commercial buildings recognized for their historical significance, including Spokane’s Ritz Theater, Hillyard High School Annex, and “Cliff Aerie”, which was recently featured on the cover of “Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living” magazine. The Hartline School is one of just three buildings named as accomplishments in Westcott’s 1946 obituary.

Hartline School Exterior 1926

Howard L. Gifford is one of three architects credited with the design of Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon; he was responsible for much of the interior design.

The Hartline School was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in January 2010, and on the Washington Heritage Register of Historic Places in November 2009.

Hartline School Cafeteria 1926

A History of Hartline School

Rural Eastern Washington is a vast stretch of wheat fields, rolling hills and open sky. The small towns sprinkled throughout are tightly knit communities with deep roots into the land that has nourished their families for generations. Hartline is one of those places: a small town center on Highway 2 serving farms and ranches in surrounding Grant County. At first glance, it looks like a dozen other towns with grain elevators dominating the skyline. But as you approach from the West, an impressive red brick building, the “heart of Hartline,” comes into view.

Hartline School, constructed in 1922, is as solid as the community: two-stories; brick masonry on a concrete foundation; hardwood flooring and finished-fir woodwork; and a large iron bell. When new, its 29,000 square feet encompassed twelve spacious classrooms separated by a large central corridor, a three hundred seat auditorium with movie projection booth, library, gymnasium and cafeteria. The “T” shaped Colonial Revival style structure is embellished with a multi-colored brick façade and multi-paned windows, balanced around a central portico supported by two sets of Doric columns.

Since graduating its first senior class in 1923, it has provided a welcoming place for students of the area to attend classes and a comfortable meeting place for the communities. As many as four generations of Hartline residents have learned to read and attended school dances in this elegant building.

The Hartline School was vacated in December 2008 after nearly ninety years of continuous use as a school building. In early 2009, the local consolidated school district declared it surplus property. In April the School District offered the Hartline School, the 1966 gym/cafeteria, and the adjacent property to Grant County Port District #5 for community use. The School District said the historic Hartline School would be either put up for sale or demolished if the Port declined the offer. The fate of the building was uncertain throughout the summer months and into September 2009.

The Port Commissioners asked for extra time to assess the community’s response and determine the best course of action. The Port, HSPA, HBO, and community members all worked under intense pressure to resolve the issue within the short time frame allotted for a response. Finally, on September 8, 2009, the Port District voted to accept the offer and become the new owner of the historic Hartline School, gym/cafeteria, and adjacent property.

Final work on the purchase agreement and additional assessments continued throughout the remainder of 2009. In February 2010 Grant County Port District #5 became the new owner of the historic Hartline School. The Port, the Hartline community, and the HBO/HSPA are now working together to create a plan for the future of the historic Hartline School, ensuring that this integral part of Hartline’s history remains solid and strong for years to come.


The cultural and historic resources of a community tell the story of its past and make any single community distinct from other places. These resources provide tangible connections to the people and events that have shaped our communities and our collective histories. Preserving the physical reminders of our past creates a sense of place and community pride. Historic preservation generates a wide range of economic benefits in Washington State, including those associated with the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings, heritage tourism, and community revitalization. Adapted from the WA State DAHP website.

A committee of the Hartline Betterment Organization, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. PO Box 153, Hartline WA 99135 · info@heartofhartline.com

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