This building was constructed in ca. 1895 for Dr. Henry J. Webb following the fire of 1890 and-similar to the Mason and Flatiron buildings in the vicinity-represents the historic brick core of Pullman's established downtown in the late nineteenth century. The Webb Block once housed the offices of the Pullman Herald and was a fixture in the early foundation of Pullman. In the last decades of the twentieth century, the building was rechristened as the Combine Mall, the source of still-visible advertising on the structure's west side.
Backstory and Context
While some accounts note the Webb Block as constructed in 1891, it does not appear on Sanborn maps until between the 1893 and 1896 editions. It appears that Henry J. Webb was a prominent citizen of Pullman; in 1890 he is listed as president and member of the board of directors for the Bank of Pullman.1 In 1896, the building housed the Pullman Herald as well as a men’s clothing store, dentistry offices for Dr. A. E. Shaw, and Neill & Bull, attorneys-at-law.2 Other tenants throughout the years included the City Club and the Combine Mall.
The Combine Mall was a restaurant and coffee shop for many years, during the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. The interior was broken up into smaller shops, organized as its name implies. During the 1990s, there was event space upstairs which hosted a variety of performances including concerts from artists like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains—before they made it big.3
2. The Pullman Herald, October 3, 1896: 5. Ads for Neill & Bull and Dr. A.E. Shaw appeared in this edition of the newspaper.
3. Scott Jackson, “History – musical and more – infuses bricks of Pullman lounge,” Moscow-Pullman Daily News, January 26, 2018, http://dnews.com/history---musical-and-more---infuses-bricks/article_5f6c15bb-b277-5f95-be02-3fa2d01... (accessed February 16, 2018).