The Luepke Florist building is the second floral shop at this location. The Luepke's first shop was destroyed by a fire in July of 1937.
Luepke Florist is an L-shaped Moderne building set at the northwest corner of the intersection of Washington and 13th streets in downtown Vancouver, Washington. The 1.5 story concrete building designed by Donald J. Stewart was built in two separate stages, with the original portion, at the corner or 13th and Washington, being completed in 1937, and the addition to the west being completed c. 1945.
The building is historically significant for its direct association with local civic and commercial leader Rudolph Luepke, and for its locally-excellent representation of Moderne architecture, created by locally-prominent architect Donald J. Stewart.
Rudolph (Rudy) Luepke
According to family and other records, Rudolph Luepke came from a long line of family involved in the horticultural world. His great-grandfather Charles Leopold Luepke, worked in the florist trade in Germany. His grandfather Robert T. worked as a horticulturalist at the Royal Palace Gardens in Potsdam.
Rudy started work in the business at a young age and grew up to be a man whose professional and civic activities were legion. He served as district representative of the FTD Association, director of the Society of American Florists, and director of the U.S. Florist Information Council. He was also national president of FTD - the only Pacific Northwesterner to have served in that position by 1957. A founder of Royal Oaks Country Club, he served as chair of the Regional Planning Commission, held a lifetime membership in the Jaycees and was president of the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, among affiliations with other local organizations. Rudy received Vancouver's First Citizen Award in 1951 and served on the Vancouver City Council beginning in 1957 and was Mayor from 1962 to 1966.
Donald Stewart, FAIA
Spokane-native Donald J. Stewart became a registered architect in 1931 in Washington. Beginning an architectural practice in 1931 Vancouver was an uphill battle due to the Great Depression, but his career developed to make him one of the city's two most prolific and prominent architects, along with Day Hilborn, of the twentieth century.
In just the same year of the Luepke commission, he designed the Sparks Motors Building at 5th and Broadway, prepared remodeling plans for Sparks Hardware at 607 Main, and the Elks Lodge, additions to the Vancouver Ice and Coal Company, a new commercial building near 14th and Main, and several residences. He also was elected chair of the Vancouver Planning Commission, and received an award for the design of a cold storage plant near Tillamook, Oregon.
- Listed in the Clark County Heritage Register in 2015
- Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2016
Open to Public:
Yes. Please visit the Luepke Florist website for hours of operation.