March 20, 2014 in City

Landmarks Commission back in action

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Register listings proposed

On Tuesday, the Landmarks Commission recommended the Kiesow-Gentsch House, at 618 W. 23rd Ave., for listing on the Spokane Register of Historic Places. The 1913 Craftsman-style home was designed by architect Joseph T. Levesque and is currently owned by Brian and Laurie Hopkins.

The board also recommended Spokane register listing for the Dr. Charles and Edith Rigg House, a 1914 Dutch Colonial home at 726 E. 25th Ave. The home was designed by architect Archibald Rigg, who also designed the original Hutton School.

It is currently owned by George and Sue Eugster. Sue Eugster told landmarks commissioners that the listing is being sought as a gift to her husband, who has health problems.

The Spokane Historic Landmarks Commission on Wednesday took its first official action in months.

The number of commissioners on the 11-position panel had fallen below the seven needed for taking action during monthly meetings, after Spokane city and county officials failed to appoint members. Last month the county named three members, allowing the commission to reach a quorum.

On Wednesday, the landmarks commissioners voted to approve demolition plans for portions of Hutton Elementary School, which is undergoing historic preservation of its older segments and construction of a 40,000-square-foot wing.

Commissioners also approved a design review of the new wing on which a vote was postponed since January because the commission didn’t have a quorum.

County Commissioner Al French held up county approval of appointments to the Landmarks Commission following a controversy last summer over a proposal to allow construction of a large industrial project next to the historic Sarsfield farmhouse, 5520 W. Thorpe Road.

Wemco is building its 300,000-square-foot plant next to the farmhouse in what used to be an open field. The Landmarks Commission called for more environmental review.

French said he wanted to send a message to the Landmarks Commission about the importance of economic development, including the industrial expansion.

French said Tuesday that unincorporated areas of the county also were not getting enough attention for historic preservation efforts by the landmarks program, which is operated by the city.

He said the county is prepared to increase its contribution to the city for the landmarks program with an understanding that unincorporated areas of the county would receive greater attention for preservation.

On Tuesday, county commissioners approved two joint city-county appointments to the Landmarks Commission: Jim Kolva as a representative for the central business district and Dave Shockley as a preservation and construction specialist.


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