Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Office

In Spokane, my office is in the Undercliff Mansion, which is part of a cluster of old mansions known as the Marycliff Center. We are called the Undercliff because the mansion where we have offices is under a cliff. I have had offices here since 1998. I started in a small one with lowered ceilings - just perfect for a new lawyer starting out with her own practice. For a desk, I got a 1930s wooden kitchen table with the idea that I was there to work with my clients, as a team, rather than sit behind an imposing desk, dictating answers. By 1999, I was in a much larger room, but still with the kitchen table. I added an old voting box from Spokane's earlier days - a tall wooden box with a hole in the top to put the ballots and a place for a padlock (which I didn't keep locked). I kept it by the office door and told people that they were supposed to vote for their favorite lawyer as they left (which was funny, because I was the only lawyer - not just in that office, but the entire building).

Then two years ago, the building owner approached me and asked if I'd be interested in moving to the first floor - to what had been the billiard room (back when the mansion was a home), and the nuns' prayer room (when it had been the Catholic girls' school). It was a room with brick walls and three sides of cathedral style windows. I said yes, furnished it eclectically...

and got a new desk. This time, since what I wanted was to write, the purpose of the desk was to welcome me to it. I found it at a local antique store, and fell in love. It is of 1895 vintage, with scrolly legs (if that's a word) - a dark beautiful wood with a certain delicacy to it. I had a local carpentry shop put small rollers on the bottom of the legs - eight in all, as there are two legs per corner. And I got a round working table that I put to one side that would work as the working area for the law - as a place for clients and me to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

The other day, Larry Wooley from Beautiful Photo Studio - a family-run photo shop in our building - took a series of photos of the office. Below are some of the photos. Aren't they beautiful? Larry did such a wonderfully careful job - so much better than any photo I've taken. Their website is

And then this one is perhaps my favorite - the close up of the dragon.


Tumblewords: said...

Woohoo! That's a glorious setting which must be full of inspirational vibes.

Anonymous said...

I think that's the most beautiful office I've ever seen. Well done, Beth.

Beth Bollinger said...

Oh, thanks Spoke. And yes - it is very inspirational.

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