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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The fledgling Spokane University unveiled a plan to build a spectacular campus on 165 acres in the Spokane Valley.

A proposed $100,000 administration building, fronted with grand Greek-style columns, was the centerpiece of the plan. A quadrangle in front of the building would be surrounded by the other college buildings: science, fine arts, etc. It would all be built in what was already being called “University place.”

“The location of Spokane University is exceptionally well-chosen,” said the paper. “(It is) seven miles east of the center of Spokane and is reached by the Vera trolley line, the Oregon Short Line and the Milwaukee railroads. It is a rich, undulating body, covered with the native pines, elevated above the valley and sloping upward toward beautiful hills.”

Spokane University had already been operating for one year under the name Spokane Bible College. However, it had been granted a new charter as a nonsectarian Christian education institution with a much expanded scope. It even planned to have a law college and medical college.

A great deal of this plan was eventually put into effect, and Spokane University became an important Spokane Valley institution for the next several decades. However, it would not survive the Great Depression.

The memory of Spokane University lingers in many Spokane Valley place names, including University Road and University High School.

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