top of page
351124324_1444018689507378_5396967634981578644_n (1).jpg

Historic preservation is more than just a labor of love. It's a life changing experience. An incredible, yet arduous journey one embraces out of the sheer passion to save a structural piece of history. There's a new effort launching to perserve and celebrate a historic Ritzville, Washington building that's unfolding as one determined owner is crafting a plan to breathe a new life into their property. 

Brenda Owens is embarking on an ambitious effort to preserve a 120-year-old building, to ensure this rural wheat country marvel thrives for another 100 years.

Her desire to restore the building started in June when she and other local business owners met commercial real estate developer Rory Turner, who was brought to Ritzville by Adams County Economic Development Director Stephen McFadden. 


Turner, who has revitalized historical building in Ellensburg and Wenatchee, conducted a walkthrough of the structures in Ritzville, and provided insight and ideas to restore the buildings. he explained that restoring the buildings would be a way to entice travelers on Interstate 90 to drive into downtown Ritzville.  

The H.E. Gritman Building is a flagship example of the architecturally impressive brick buildings that line Ritzville's Main Avenue. Constructed in 1902 by Harry Emmet Gritman, the 50x90 two-story behemoth stands at the corner of Main Avenue and Washington Street, its turret and flagstaff serving as sentinels from a different era. 

Much work lies ahead. From masonry restoration and repair work, to the removal and replacement of the second-story windows. The exterior task list will present plenty of challenges. In the summer of 2019, plywood was removed from 27 windows for the first time in 40 years. Interestingly, pieces of remaining Mt. St. Helen's ash were still present behind the plywood. The first of these 27 windows are currently in a shop being restored to their original glory. 

A plan is being formulated and a path forward will soon be shared. Until then, if you want to ask questions, offer assistance, volunteer or donate to the building, you can contact Brenda at

H.E. Gritman
West Main
Historic Main
Historic Train
Main to the West
Gritman in lighted glory
Historic Downtown at Night
Main and Washington Clock
Santa Time!
Ritzville Airiel
Merry Christmas
1950s Parade
1910s Parade
1900s H.E. Gritman
1960s Main
1950s Main
1920s Parade
Candy shop!
1950s Turret
1950s Ritzville's Main St.
1940s Parade
Switchboard Operators inside
Early advertisment
1930s Parade
It'll cure what ails ya!
1920s Main St
Corner of Main & Washington
The Historic H.E. Gritman Building
Blues Festival
Blues Fest
Lots of demolition
Brick repairs
More Bricks!
At the Turret
Much to cleanup!
Dennis on the Roof
Brenda on the Scaffold!
Roof Work
Rooftop Repairs
Brick work


120 & 118 & 118 1/2 West Main Ave. 

Ritzville, Washington 99169 | TEL.(509) 850-7371

  • Facebook - Black Circle


If you would like to donate please make checks payable to:

H.E. Gritman Restoration Project  or press the donate button below to donate using

             PayPal via debit/credit card .                               

               Payments can also made at                  Umpqua Bank

201  W Main Ave.

Ritzville WA 99169

Thank You for your continued support!

bottom of page