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A historic building slated for the wrecking ball could get a friend in the Spokane City Council.
Late last year, Washington State University-Spokane announced it would sell a 102-year-old warehouse called the Jensen-Byrd building so a development company could tear down the brick building and erect student housing.
Last month, the city-county Historic Landmarks Commission determined the building is eligible to be placed on historic registries. That will create procedural hurdles for tearing it down, but doesn’t prohibit demolition as long as a new building takes its place.
On Monday, the Spokane City Council will consider a non-binding resolution requesting that WSU reconsider the decision.
Councilman Steve Salvatori, co-sponsor of the resolution, said the structure is sound.
“It could be an iconic, signature part of the campus,” Salvatori said. “It could be the most iconic, signature landmark on that campus.”
The Spokane City Council on Monday gave the green light to tear down two 85-year-old downtown warehouses.
The city already has a demolition permit for the historic structures, which sit on the southeast corner of Riverside and Division, but the land is owned by Washington State University.
The council voted 6-1 to approve an agreement that transfers the land to the city, clearing the way for the buildings’ removal.
The warehouses are the former homes of Western Piggly Wiggly, a grocery chain based in Spokane that later was bought by Safeway, and Ryan Fruit Co. Earlier this year, downtown developer Dan Spalding unsuccessfully tried to persuade the city and WSU to save at least one of the buildings.
City administrators say that the buildings are in the way of the proposed extension of Riverside Avenue, which will be called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Eldon Brown, Spokane’s principal engineer of developer services, said construction of Riverside and demolition of the warehouses is expected to start around Oct. 1.