Coeur d’Alene Park gets a facelift
Painters are busy putting the finishing touches on the gazebo in Coeur d’Alene Park so the structure can be ready for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 15.
Christine H. White, who lives in Browne’s Addition, is one of the founders of Friends of Coeur d’Alene Park and the main force behind the restoration project.
She said she came up with the idea of restoring the gazebo in late 2012 and set about securing funding.
“The old gazebo was listing badly to one side,” White said. “It was badly rotted in parts, it looked terrible and it couldn’t be used.”
The gazebo was last restored in 1990 when a replica of the very first gazebo was constructed for $90,000.
This restoration cost $196,403.28, according to Tony Madunich, Spokane Parks operations manager.
“There’s not a single piece of wood left in the building,” White said, pointing to the gazebo. “Our goal was to take the time and effort to build a structure that would last,”
From a distance, the new gazebo with its “gingerbread” panels and turned balusters looks like it’s made out of wood and perhaps from the Victorian era.
Yet it’s made entirely from stainless and galvanized steel, concrete and composite materials that are deemed as weather and vandal resistant as possible, Madunich explained in an email.
A picnic shelter, like the one constructed last year in Manito Park, runs approximately $50,000, but Madunich said it’s not fair to compare the two because the gazebo is constructed entirely of custom-made pieces. Ordinary picnic shelters are built out of factory-made, ready-to-assemble parts.
White said $196,400 is not too much to spend on the gazebo.
“It’s historic. It was part of the Olmsted Brothers’ recommendations for this park,” White said.
Coeur d’Alene Park, at Second Avenue and Chestnut Street, is the oldest park in town. A bandstand first shows up in photos from the late 1800s and White said the original wooden gazebo was built in 1908. The original gazebo was no longer standing when the 1990 replica was constructed.
Today, only the domed roof and the foundation remain from 1990.
White said architect Jim Cortner of Cortner Architecture Company has done a tremendous job designing the gazebo and she’s looking forward to the neighborhood being able to use it again.
“It will be used for hosting parties, concerts and all types of events,” White said. “It will live on as a gathering place and a link to the Golden Age of Spokane.”