Homeowners in some of Spokane’s oldest neighborhoods breathed a sigh of relief last week when the City Council approved manufactured housing in all parts of the city - except historic districts.
“I think it is wonderful that the council recognized that Spokane does have some wonderful historic districts that need to be protected,” said Rockwood resident Mary Kulisch.
Spokane has seven neighborhoods and four non-residential areas listed as state or national historic districts.
Five of those historic neighborhoods are on the South Side: Browne’s Addition, Peaceful Valley, Ninth Avenue, Rockwood, and Marycliff-Cliff Park.
Teresa Brum, director of the city’s historic preservation office, cheers the council decision.
“A historic district derives its identity from a collection of related significant properties,” she said. “The addition of manufactured housing could compromise the integrity of the historic district.”
Spokane has about 1,400 Spokane homes and businesses in recognized historic districts. The vast majority are on the South Side.
Rockwood, with nearly 300 homes surveyed, is the largest district.
It takes about two years for a neighborhood to complete the surveys and documentation needed for historic recognition.
“There are no requirements or constraints on what you can or can’t do with your property,” said Brum. “There’s no requirement to open your home to the public, or paint it certain colors, for example.”
City historic districts have more stringent regulations than those with state or national designations. Corbin Park on the North Side is the only city historic district.
These are the historic neighborhoods on the South Side:
Browne’s Addition, bounded roughly by Sunset Boulevard, Maple Street, Latah Creek and Riverside Avenue. It offers a concentrated collection of grand turn-of-the-century homes.
Peaceful Valley, between the Spokane River, Wilson Avenue, Elm and Cedar streets, is an example of a working-class neighborhood at the turn of the century.
The Rockwood district, from 11th to 29th avenues, between Arthur and Hatch streets, boasts graceful, winding streets and landscapes designed by the Olmsted brothers in 1903.
The Marycliff-Cliff Park district, bounded roughly by Lincoln and Grove streets, and Seventh and 14th avenues, features many homes originally designed by Kirtland Cutter to resemble small versions of English country estates. Basalt rock in the area was used in the homes and in landscaping.
The Ninth Avenue district is bounded roughly by Seventh and 12th avenues, Monroe Street and the bluff at the west end of the lower South Hill. Spokane’s early day architects designed homes here for the community’s social and financial elite.
On the North Side are the Corbin Park and Mission Avenue historic areas.
Non-residential historic areas include Felts Field, Fort George Wright, Riverside Avenue, and the Spokane River, including Riverfront Park and stretching north to the County Courthouse.
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