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Washington Voices

Grants aim to preserve historic sites

Garage, church building get $7,500 total

Two historic properties on the Spokane area have been awarded grants by the Spokane Preservation Advocates organization.

Mount St. Michael, a former Jesuit scholastic on a prominent hill above North Spokane, will get $5,000 to pay for an architectural and engineering evaluation to prioritize preservation projects.

The congregation based at Mount St. Michael is undertaking restoration in anticipation of a centennial in 2015.

Last year, the congregation and volunteers worked on more than 100 wood-framed windows.

Mount St. Michael was home to Roman Catholic priest trainees from the Jesuit order until 1968, when the Jesuits consolidated their operation at Gonzaga University.

The building was acquired in 1977 by a breakaway Catholic organization, the Tridentine Latin Rite Church, which rejected Vatican II doctrinal changes in 1965 that allowed English-language Mass among other reforms.

The church there has about 600 members with a parochial school and convent for nuns, who wear recognizable blue habits.

Work on the original Late Gothic Revival structure was completed in 1917.

The other grant is for $2,500 to the City Ramp Parking Garage to pay for research needed to write a nomination to the Spokane and national historic registers.

The garage at 430 W. First Ave. opened in 1928 as one of the city’s first parking garages and is finished in an Art Deco style that was popular in the late 1920s and 1930s.

Earning spots on historic registers is an important step for renovation at the garage, the SPA said in a press release.

The grants are consistent with SPA’s goal of maintaining and improving Spokane’s historic character. More than $75,000 in grants has been handed out by SPA over the past decade.