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Getting to Know Myrtle Woldson

The Myrtle Woldson Collection
The Myrtle Woldson Collection
The Myrtle Woldson Collection
The Myrtle Woldson Collection
The Myrtle Woldson Collection
The Myrtle Woldson Collection

She was once the talk of the town and the subject of newspaper society pages; a woman who turned 20th-century gender expectations upside down; a razor-sharp real estate developer who, over five decades of buying and selling properties, quietly amassed a multimillion-dollar fortune. Yet when Myrtle Woldson died in 2014 at the age of 104, few in her hometown of Spokane had ever heard of her. But even in death, Miss Woldson had some surprises in store: among several beneficiaries listed in her will, Gonzaga University received $80 million, part of which funded construction of the Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center – a state-of-the-art facility for music, theater, and dance performances. It also includes full-scale replicas of key rooms in Woldson’s Sumner Avenue home, as well as an exhibit space that explores her remarkable life. helveticka worked with a team of GU professors and students in content development, design, writing, fabrication, programming, and installation for the exhibit, ultimately designing a space that not only pays tribute to one of the more noteworthy individuals in Spokane history, but also shines a light on a lifetime of extraordinary generosity.

photo: J. Craig Sweat Photography