The iconic Riverfront Park clock tower started its life as the centerpiece of the Great Northern Railroad depot, finished in 1902. Decades later Burlington Northern donated the land and the tower, which, according to a brass plaque on its side, “stands as a monument to the railroad industry and its role in the development of Spokane and the Pacific Northwest.”
Despite the Great Depression, Spokane was still growing and the young city was building to the north, up the corridors of Monroe, Washington, Howard and Division. With the county courthouse nearby, offices for attorneys, space for restaurants and storefronts for bail bondsmen were in demand. Over the years, the few wooden buildings have been replaced with brick. Today, North Monroe Street is known for antiques, both funky and functional. Stores are clustered between Broadway and the bridge, but they are sprinkled all the way to Garland.
Construction began in 1850 by the Coeur d’Alene River 35 miles north. Fr. Antonio Ravalli and the Coeur d’Alene people cut and erected logs, then laced them with saplings and tied with grasses and daubed with mud, recreating the grandeur of a European cathedral in the Idaho wilderness.
Martin Stadium at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. was called Soldier Field in 1892, then renamed Rogers Field in 1902. Martin Stadium’s additions and improvements have brought the capacity up to almost 40,000.
Sears, Roebuck & Co. opened a new store in Spokane at 906 W. Main in 1930. Sears invested $750,000 in the building site and stock. The building had three stories and a full basement and was equipped with the lastest combined heating and ventilating system. In September 1961, Sears sold the building to the Comstock Foundation which converted it into the main Spokane Public Library. The building was demolished in 1992 to make way for a new library.
The Hayden Lake Country Club, which started out as a collection of cabins on a beach on the lake’s west side, has long been the place to see and be seen for the well-to-do of Kootenai and Spokane counties.
Here’s another installment of then-and-now photos from around Spokane. Much has happened in the last 50-plus years in Spokane, and the buildings that remain bear the marks of Spokane’s boom and bust cycle.
The sturdy brick buildings from the first half of the 20th century are reminders that Spokane has always been a regional business center, a place where ambitious business operators came to stake their claim and make a fortune or go bust. This is photographic look back at some of the buildings in downtown Spokane, how they looked then and how they look now.
This special gallery of coupled, similar images from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and recent tornadoes in the U.S. is a testament to humanity — its strengths, its weaknesses and their intersection with its undeniable will to move forward.
No one needs to tell Coeur d’Alene residents that the city has changed a lot since the growth boom began around 1988. But it’s fun to look back, so here are a few scenes pulled from the archives of the Spokesman-Review alongside how they look in 2011.