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Now: Fri., Nov. 24, 2017, 8:40 a.m. | Search

Community asked to help fund Christmas Bureau to provide toys, books for children

Fri., Nov. 24, 2017, 5 a.m.

A little boychooses his own gift in the toy room at the Christmas Bureau last year. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Every holiday season is full of traditions, whether it is family meals, ski trips or making snowmen in the front yard. At The Spokesman-Review, Catholic Charities and the Volunteers of America, the annual holiday tradition is hosting the Christmas Bureau to provide food and toys to families who need a little help with the holidays.

Wet, warm, windy weather plays havoc on Inland Northwest ski areas

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 23, 2017, 10:27 p.m.

Ticket checker Ben Riggs, right, checks in opening-day skiers at the chairlift at Mt. Spokane Ski  & Snowboard Park on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. The park offered early season pricing discounts as the snow was still thin in spots. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
The triple threat of warm, rainy and windy weather the Pineapple Express has brought to the Inland Northwest this week may play havoc with your plans to hit the slopes, depending on where you want to get in some runs this weekend.

Lincoln Street: Spokane’s bridge that went nowhere

Thu., Nov. 23, 2017, 12:30 p.m.

View upriver of the proposed Lincoln Street Bridge project from the Monroe street Bridge. (SR)
In 1992, the Spokane City Council directed staff to begin the design and construction of a new span over the Spokane Falls, dubbed the Lincoln Street Bridge. Seven million dollars and eight years later, city voters effectively killed the bridge. What went wrong?

The North Riverbank Urban Design Plan: a 1982 look into the future of Kendall Yards

Thu., Nov. 23, 2017, noon

An idea from 1982 for a dense development on land in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood that was dominated by a railyard for decades. Today, Kendall Yards is located there. (North Riverbank Urban Design Plan)
As the blush of Expo wore off, along with the cloth covering of the U.S. Pavilion, urban planners were at a loss. The fair had done the work to deliver a blank canvas for downtown growth. Lost in the redevelopment was the river’s north bank, so planners put together the North Riverbank Urban Design Plan in 1982, an idea which wouldn’t be fully realized for nearly 30 years.

Bulldozing Peaceful Valley to save the Spokane River

Thu., Nov. 23, 2017, 11 a.m.

The bucolic redevelopment envisioned in Spokane’s Peaceful Valley neighborhood in 1974 would have required the complete demolition of the houses there for “harmonious clusters of apartments.” (Spokane Riverfront Development Program)
How would Spokane’s leaders follow the immense popularity and the transformative effect Expo ’74 had on the city? One idea was to completely bulldoze Peaceful Valley, the neighborhood just west of downtown of poor old people to make way for “harmonious clusters of apartments.”

Lincoln Square, the pedestrian plaza designed to reinvigorate downtown Spokane

Thu., Nov. 23, 2017, 10 a.m.

The Terminal Building stood on the block bounded by Lincoln St. and Main Ave. from 1905 to 1929. It served streetcar and local trains, including the electric train to Coeur d'Alene. It was was torn down in 1929 and replaced with the new Sears and Roebuck store in 1930. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
The downtown Spokane Public Library sits on a storied location, one that could reveal the layers of city transformation, from a devastating fire to a hub of transportation to a place of commerce simply by digging a hole and rifling through the soil. One thing that’s missing, buried deep in the city’s memory, is the plan for a pedestrian plaza called Lincoln Square.

Before Expo was Ebasco, the plan to save downtown Spokane

Thu., Nov. 23, 2017, 9 a.m.

Model of downtown Spokane, built in 1961 by Spokane Unlimited. (Spokane Unlimited / Ebasco)
Probably the grandest plan undone in Spokane was Ebasco, a proposal that led to the complete reformation of city government, recognition of the central place the Spokane Falls and river hold in the city, and to one of most complete rebukes by voters to the business and political leaders who steered and controlled Spokane. It also led to Expo ’74.

Riverfront Park’s foundation laid by laundry company

Thu., Nov. 23, 2017, 7 a.m.

A vision for Crystal Island in 1927, when the middle island of the falls was dominated by industry. (The Spokesman-Review Archive)
It’s a story that’s been told many times in Spokane. The visionaries behind Expo ’74 saved the city, and recovered the central geography that made this spot in the river so appealing for so many people, from native fishermen to East Coast industrialists. The story may be true, but it had a prelude, and it started with a laundry.

The Great (unfinished) Gorge Park

Thu., Nov. 23, 2017, 6 a.m.

General Plan of the Park System for Spokane, Wash. published in December 1913. (Spokane Public Library)
After numerous visits during 1907 and 1908, and with a $1,000 payment, the Olmsted Brothers produced a report for Spokane, the General Plan of the Park System. The plan has helped guide the city’s park system since its creation, with one glaring exception. The Great Gorge Park remains the great unfinished aspect of the plan, but not for want of trying.

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From the family holiday album

Once, when I was in high school back in Vermont, my older brother and sister had come home for Thanksgiving. Accompanying my sister was her second husband, an architect named ...