Lundin Brothers Laundry/ Burkhardt Motors

Year Built:  1914

Style:  Commercial, Vernacular

Address:  1801 E Sprague Avenue


East Sprague catered to the flow of travelers on the Sunset Highway and it quickly became a bustling commercial strip. Built in 1914, this one-part masonry block is indicative of the commercial architecture springing up along Sprague.  The building is a one story, rectangular, one-part commercial block with a stepped, flat roof and parapet. Originally brick, it is now clad in yellow stucco and the arched window openings along the east and west facades have all been infilled.   The building was home to Lundin Brothers Laundry who operated out of the building until the 1930s, at which point they moved to 1507 E Sprague (the interior of which is shown below). Brothers Elmer, Gust and Erick came to the US from Westtergotland, Sweden and, joined by a cousin, Levean, they opened the laundry – the first in the city to offer home delivery service via the horse-drawn wagon.

A variety of businesses moved into the building after the laundry; by 1939, Burkhart Motors called the building home, by 1946 it was Standard Plumbing Company and Heating, and it is currently occupied by Rail Creek Furniture. The building has lost a significant amount of material integrity but still continues to convey historic feeling. Additionally, it documents the commercial evolution of East Central, is associated with significant Spokane enterprises, retains fair integrity and contributes to the dense strip of intact commercial facades along this stretch of East Sprague.

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Images left to right: Obituary for Elmer I. Lundin from February 22, 1979 Spokesman-Review; southwest corner; February 26, 1913 Spokane Daily Chronicle article; Lundin Brother’s Laundry interior in 1935, likely at 1507 E Sprague [MAC L87-1.7086-35]