The Compass Room & Rooftop sits atop the Paulsen Center and is located in the original "Paulsen Penthouse." The Paulsen Center enjoys an incredible history that dates back to the early days of the 1900s.
The Paulsen Center is one of the most prominent features of the Spokane skyline. Its namesake, August Paulsen, was a Danish immigrant who arrived in Spokane in 1892. August scraped together enough money to buy a stake in the Hercules mining claim and ultimately struck it rich.
The Paulsen Center consists of two buildings: the August Paulsen Building completed in 1911 (Spokane's first "skyscraper") and the Paulsen Medical and Dental Building completed in 1929 after August's death in 1927.
August's widow, Myrtle, was the first resident of the penthouse. At the time, the Spokane Chronicle reported that "Mrs. Paulsen's apartment is said to be one of the finest roof homes west of Chicago." The Chronicle continued that, "it is a beautiful spot...all riding high as if on a magic carpet or hanging in a huge crystal ball."
After Myrtle's death, her son and daughter-in-law, Clarence and Helen, moved into the penthouse in 1957. Clarence died in 1981, and Helen lived here until her death in 2007 at the age of 96.
The Compass Room & Rooftop restores the grandeur and majesty of this most historic place. We are dedicated to putting it to its highest and best use for the community of Spokane! Read on for a detailed description of the Paulsen Penthouse in a 1930 article from the Spokane Daily Chronicle.
The Paulsen Penthouse in 1929
Spokane's Most Historic & Exclusive Penthouse