C. Harvey Smith was born in Ottawa, Kansas on May 7, 1868 and was raised in Bethany, Illinois. After graduating from high school, he worked briefly for his father, Hugh A. Smith, a building contractor. Reportedly Smith moved to Spokane in 1888 at the age of twenty and is listed as a carpenter in local Polk Directories until 1902.
In 1903 he formed an architectural partnership with architect W.W. Hyslop. While Smith’s formal training in architecture is unknown, he served in this capacity for nearly 40 years designing hundreds of residences, schoolhouses, businesses, and governmental buildings in the Inland Northwest. Some reports state he designed between 500 and 600 buildings.
By 1905, Smith left Hyslop and formed a short-lived partnership with architect James S. Arnot. By 1907 he started an independent practice which lasted until his retirement in 1942.
Known residential designs in Spokane include his own home (1518 E 13th Street, 1904); the Nora Scheuneman House (1906); the McLeod-Cohen House (1910); the Reece Hansen House (1911); the Lindsley-Larsen House (1914); the Gordon House (1923), and Dr. Harvey House (1939).
Smith also designed the Mission Revival style Opportunity Township Hall (1912); the Eagles Building; Stanton Block; and the Foulner Apartments in Spokane. He also completed designs for Chewelah High School and Mullen Idaho High School. His largest known project was the Twin Falls County Courthouse (1911) in southern Idaho.
Smith passed away in Spokane at the age of seventy-four on May 13, 1942. He is buried at the Greenwood Memorial Terrace Cemetery.
By Michael Houser, State Architectural Historian - Oct. 2011