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Downtown Pullman Walking Tour
Item 5 of 17

Restaurants have occupied this space in recent years, but for much of the twentieth century this building, with its Mission Revival features, housed a photography studio that documented the change and growth of Pullman. Built in 1926 by James Carson for the Artopho photography company, the building was best known as the Hutchison Studio following its 1927 purchase by Raymond Hutchison. The studio also was Pullman's principal location for portrait photography, and Hutchison himself once served as the official yearbook photographer of Washington State College.


  • View of Hutchison Studio's western elevation, taken February 11, 2018.
  • The exterior of Hutchison Studio, taken July, 10, 1936, by R. R. Hutchison. Courtesy WSU Special Collections. http://content.libraries.wsu.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/hutchison/id/4/rec/1
  • The exterior of Hutchison Studio, taken January 29, 1937, by R.R. Hutchison. Courtesy WSU Special Collections. http://content.libraries.wsu.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/hutchison/id/9/rec/1
  • The inside of Hutchison Photo Studios, taken October 17, 1953, by R.R. Hutchison. Courtesy WSU Special Collections. http://content.libraries.wsu.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/hutchison/id/227/rec/1

Brothers J.R. and L.H. Stephenson opened Artopho Studios in Pullman in ca. 1906. Early ads for the business declared it was “established to stay" and that they specialized in "Everything Modern in the Photographic Art." J.R. Stephenson became the sole proprietor of the studio in 1907 when his brother, L.H., moved to Portland.1 In 1910 the studio was located at 1001 Grand and advertised the studio as "Pullman’s Best Photographer."2

The building at 1001 Grand (now 205 N Grand Avenue with the city’s updated addresses) was sold in 1920, requiring Artopho to move. By 1926, they had moved into the building on Kamiaken and Olsen. James Carson, a farmer, built the Mission Revival building, which features blonde-colored brick veneer on its main elevation and prominent shed roof extensions clad in clay tiles.

Ralph Raymond (R.R.) Hutchison, a photographer with Artopho, took over the business in 1927. Eventually, J.R. Stephenson relocated to Seattle and established Artopho Studio in the Queen Anne neighborhood.3

Hutchison grew up on a farm near Endicott, Washington, northwest of Pullman. He began his career as a professional photographer in the area, eventually operating studios in Endicott, LaCrosse, Pullman, and Moscow, Idaho. He also worked as the photographer for the Washington State University yearbook, the Chinook, attending many campus events and extensively documenting the WSU campus and its activities.4

A collection in the WSU Special Collections houses 690 photographs taken by Hutchison, which illustrate changes to the WSU campus and the towns and farms of the Palouse region of southeastern Washington and northern Idaho. 

The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

1. Ad, The Pullman Herald, January 5, 1907.
2. Ad, The Pullman Herald, August 19, 1910: 1.
3. R.L. Polk & Co., “Seattle City Directory” (Seattle: Polk’s Seattle Directory Co.,1926), 241.
4. “Hutchison Studio Photographs,” WSU Libraries: Digital Collections, http://content.libraries.wsu.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/hutchison (accessed February 16, 2018).