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St. Elmo’s

Status: Most Endangered Places

Year Listed: 2020

Location: Palouse, Whitman County

Originally built in 1888 as the railroad-boom Palouse Hotel, St. Elmo’s is a major component and visual anchor of the Palouse Main Street Historic District which was established in 1986. With its mansard roof and metal shingles, it is one of the few existing buildings in rural eastern Washington in the Second Empire style. The current owners purchased the building in 2018 with plans to rehabilitate, but after discovering more structural issues than anticipated, decided to demolish. Luckily, community members have convinced the owners to put the building back on the market to give someone else the chance to save one of Palouse’s most iconic buildings. A core group has formed the Friends of St. Elmo’s, which nominated it to our Most Endangered Places list and is working to raise awareness of the need to save St. Elmo’s.