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Spokane

Then and Now: A storied intersection

Mon., Aug. 25, 2014

The history of the intersection of Howard Street and Spokane Falls Boulevard is the story of Spokane:

1871: J.J. Downing and S.R. Scranton settle by the Spokane Falls and build a water-powered mill.

1873: Downing and Scranton sell out to newcomer James Glover, who builds a store and stables nearby.

1878: The California House hotel opens there, hosting miners, missionary priests, railroad builders and new settlers.

1889: The hotel, now called the Windsor Hotel, is destroyed in the great fire.

1894: A resurgent Spokane builds its castle-like new city hall.

1902: New rails are laid to the new Great Northern Depot on Havermale Island.

1909: The city agrees to vacate the city hall for the Union Pacific, which is building the Union Depot nearby.

1971: After many decades of use, demolition begins on the depots and the associated rails to prepare for the world’s fair.

1974: Expo ’74 opens to much fanfare and little trace of the former railroad complex. Afterward, the site becomes Riverfront Park.

Today: Forty years later, the city is asking voters to decide in November whether to authorize the use of expiring park bond money to upgrade Riverfront Park.

– Jesse Tinsley

 

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