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Windows, doors and so much more in historic building | Business

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Windows, doors and so much more in historic building
Business
Windows, doors and so much more in historic building

Kirtland Cutter is perhaps Spokane's most famous architect.  He is responsible for some of Spokane's most famous landmarks, including the Davenport Hotel, Glover Mansion, Spokane Club and even the Monroe Street Bridge.

His work wasn't exclusive to homes, hotels or places of exclusive membership, however.

"It was built by Comstock in 1908," said Dan Overhauser as he walked through his eclectic store at  152 S. Lincoln Street in downtown Spokane. "It was originally the Spokane Dry Goods Warehouse."

Overhauser bought the building in 1991 and it's now home to Overhausers Outlet.

At the time it was built, the six-story Cutter designed warehouse was one of the largest in the Northwest.  The massive brick building served for many years as the Crescent Department Store warehouse.  The sign above a door on the Lincoln side of the building still attests to that fact.

Though it's now 104 years old, the building remains in nearly original condition with graceful lines and white brick detailing on the outside and huge wooden beams forming the ceiling and floors on the inside.

"I'm a salvage store.  The main part of this business is new windows and doors," said Overhauser.

The building is now home to one of the largest repositories of windows and doors on the west coast.

"It's a five to ten year project to go through what I buy," said Overhauser as he described how long it takes to sell through his inventory.

The first four floors are packed with an array of windows and doors that will fulfill the dreams of any do-it-yourselfer looking to remodel a home.

"You can order anything but you can come and get it here now."

The business is open to everyone, do-it-your-selfers, contractors, even people as far away as Phoenix, Arizona.

"Mostly for the Northwest because freight is so expensive," said Overhauser.  "It's 30-40 grand to ship to Phoenix.  There's still money in it, but…"

Overhauser buys in bulk when companies need to sell.  That allows him to pass the savings on to people.

"It comes in pieces, then I put it together."

But while the window and door business is Overhauser's bread and butter, it's the other items you'll find in the store that hold the key to his heart.

"It's not signed but there's a good chance it's his work," said Overhauser, pointing out a pair of Art Deco hanging lamps.  He believes the lamps were made by famed artist Oscar Bach, who decorated the lobby of New York's Empire State Building.

"They came from a hotel in Helena, Montana that was torn down in the '60s."

Throughout all six floors of the building there are relics of the past: a French suspension lamp from the 1850's, the walls of an English pub, a 1912 Ford Model T, and a restored 1935 Harley Davidson.

"I just bought it to resell it," said Overhauser of the Harley. "If I fired it up, I'd probably want to ride it."

Customers are greeted at the door by a troll that once watched over people at the Cyrus O'Leary's restaurant.

Overhauser is a patient man.  The price tag of $32,000 on the motorcycle might be enough to make some businessmen nervous.  But he knows how the antique market works.

"The high-dollar antiques are still good but the medium market is a little off," said Overhauser.

He knows all it takes to make a sale is a phone call.

"I've been doing this all of my life.  You get known around the country."

After 43 years, Overhauser is ready for something a little different.

"I'd like to do a little more of God's work," said Overhauser. "That's the key to this life."

The building and the business are up for sale.

"It could be housing.  Retail on the first floor."

As for his inventory, Overhauser has no concerns over his ability to sell it all off if the building sells and the business doesn't.

He doesn't have a time frame for the sale of either one.

"When it happens, it happens."

As for his future once the window and door business has been shuttered, he's leaving that up to God.

"He kinda directs you," said Overhauser with a smile. "In God we trust. In whose hand is the soul of every living thing and the breath of all mankind."

Click here to check out the antique side of Overhauser's business.

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