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Jensen-Byrd considered a preservation success for 2013

The Jensen-Byrd building has stood since 1908. It is now owned by Washington State University.  (Dan Pelle)

Spokane’s Jensen-Byrd building ranks second on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “10 historic preservation saves” list for 2013.

The national trust, which held its national conference in Spokane in 2012, said of the six-story building, “Preservationists persuaded Washington State University to restore and reuse this 104-year-old former warehouse, rather than sell and demolish the structure.”

Among the “10 sites lost” last year are Pompey’s Pillar national monument in Montana, a memorial to the Lewis & Clark Expedition, which was vandalized during the government shutdown last fall. A new signature was carved in the sandstone when no rangers were present at the memorial, the national trust said.

The Jensen-Byrd became the symbol of debate over historic preservation in Spokane in recent years. WSU bought the structure in 2001 and announced plans to tear it down in 2011. Local preservationists rallied and the company that planned to develop student housing on the site backed out of the deal. In August, WSU-Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown said it was likely the university would preserve the building.

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