The Spokane City Hall erected in 1894 at Howard and Front streets symbolized the optimism of a plains boomtown, and then fell victim to its success. It cost $165,000 to erect the elegant brick structure on the former site of an 1870s hotel that had been damaged by fire. Spokane, as a regional center of industry, commerce and banking, would eventually be home to several grand buildings. In 1909, Union Pacific Railroad purchased the structure to make way for tracks near the river. The city hurriedly put up a new, but more modest, building on the southwest corner of Wall and Front streets, and the offices moved in April of 1913. The tracks were laid and Union Station was built nearby. All of the premises were vacated in 1973 to make way for Expo ’74. –Jesse Tinsley
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