Arrow-right Camera
News >  Spokane

Parks storage facility to get $1.1 million renovation

Walking through the Riverfront Park maintenance building is like passing through a cross section of history, with oddities from the park’s past tucked into every corner. Here, the Skyride gondolas from Expo ’74; there, pieces of the old tarp from the U.S. Pavilion; elsewhere, the former motor drive from the Looff Carrousel.

The Spokane Parks department is planning on investing $1.1 million to fix the maintenance facility, called the Central Park Maintenance building, at 809 N. Washington St. The renovation will be funded by the utilities department’s purchase of the Howard Street Bridge, according to parks staff. The building will mostly be used for storage after renovation, said Leroy Eadie, Spokane Parks director, who discussed the plans at a Parks Advisory Committee meeting last month.

“It really is an albatross of a building,” said Bette Largent, who has worked to repair the 1909 Looff Carrousel horses. “It’s not air-conditioned. It’s very hot right now.”

The building is a patchwork of additions, renovations and repairs. In the 1930s, it was built to house VanWaters and Rogers Inc. industrial supplies. The park rangers have offices in it now – the only air-conditioned rooms in the building – but most of it is used for storage. After the renovation, the park rangers’ offices will be moved elsewhere, Eadie said.

Kevin Sharrai, safety and maintenance manager for Riverfront Park, said there’s “probably asbestos” in the building, but the structure remains usable.

“This is still a feasible facility,” Sharrai said, “but there are some efficiencies to be gained.”

Eadie said he hasn’t settled on a full design of the new facility, but it’s been part of the master plan for the park. He wants to keep the west part of the building, but demolish the east part and turn it into a covered area for vehicles, he said.

“Once the utility dollars become more available, we’ll start looking at it more closely,” Eadie said.

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter

There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email

You have been successfully subscribed!

Top stories in Spokane

Rob Curley: Come help us close out the Kettle Kickoff charity drive – we’ve got ‘Olaf’ your Christmas cheer right here

Last year, our newspaper was asked to participate in the Salvation Army’s Kettle Kickoff. We were all ready. But I was especially ready. Dressed as Santa, the generosity I saw that day truly moved me. I know it’s not a competition. It’s something done for all of the right reasons to help others who need a little extra this holiday season, and really, during all of our seasons. It’s one of those things that needs, and deserves, to be kept pure.