Fifty years from now most of us reading this newspaper will be dead and gone. But our actions will remain behind as our legacy. The proposed revisions of our building codes to allow high-rise buildings along Spokane Falls Boulevard will forever change the character of our city center and the park.
Remember the surprising change in the views and ambience of the park when the old YMCA building was torn down from the center of the park– and that was only four stories tall!
Some have noted that Central Park in New York City is ringed with high-rise buildings and hotels and that has not ruined its attraction. True enough, but Central Park is very wide and on a scale basis compared with our park, that would place tall buildings no closer than Sprague Avenue, which could be a reasonable compromise.
Already you can sense the tunneling effect of the city center when turning off Division and passing by the Grand Hotel as it looms over the once solitary and elegant Opera House, which is now literally overshadowed. To extend the Grand Hotel’s high profile farther along the street will result will be a windy canyon that will forever diminish the stunning effect of the falls in our city center.
Our park and falls are unusual gifts given to us and we should preserve them for those that will follow us.