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.
This 1962 photo shows the corner at Riverside and Monroe, where sturdy brick buildings stood housing a variety of retail establishments for many decades. It is now the location of the Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse, aka, the federal building, which was constructed in 1966.
This 1928 photo shows the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks lodge in downtown Spokane. Construction started in 1919 and the design is Italian renaissance. In 1981, the Elks were struggling financially and membership was declining, so the building, at 1116 W. Riverside, was sold to North Coast Life Insurance.
It’s hard to overstate the startling remaking that came with Expo ‘74, transforming the area we now call Riverfront Park from a busy rail yard and depot into a peaceful urban park. The 1972 photo shows the old Great Northern depot that once surrounded the iconic clock tower, as well as the Union station seen on the right. .
This 1934 photo shows Lewis and Clark High School at Fourth and Stevens. The building replaced a previous structure, called South Central High School, which burned down in 1910. The current building, constructed in 1911, began with a cornerstone laid by President Theodore Roosevelt. The building was remodeled in recent years.
This 1952 photo shows the Symons building at Sprague and Howard in downtown Spokane, which has housed many businesses over the years, including Kendall’s men’s store and V.J. Morris Co., a dealer in appliances and electrical equipment.
The early photo shows the view from Loma Vista Park in 1950. Many new homes dot the otherwise open landscape looking north down Alberta from Central. Landscaping has matured, trees have grown up and the the Five Mile bluff is lined with upscale homes today.
The Columbia building, erected in 1907, was the home to the Curtis Style Shop, a popular clothing store from the 1920s, when the older photo was taken. Today, you can eat a plate of sushi at RAW, a restaurant on the building’s ground floor. Just north of the building was once the Hippodrome movie theater. It is now a parking lot.
The 1937 photo shows a busy North Monroe St. lined with stores and offices in the neighborhood of the county courthouse. The older photo was likely shot from the east-west railroad trestle that ran above Monroe at the end of the bridge over the river so the current photo could only be shot from street level.
The 300 block of Riverside was once a thriving mercantile and hotel center, which featured the Fairmont Hotel. The seven-story hotel was twice damaged by fire, which may explain why the building is shorter than it once was, though it still stands today. On the block today are the Glen Dow Academy of Hair Design and the Dania Home and Office store, which also faces Sprague Ave.
The workaday world of east Sprague Ave is wonderfully illustrated by the 1940 photo. Gas stations, hardware stores and mostly one or two story commercial structures line the street. Currently, the old gas station on the right is a Teen Challenge thrift store.
The now empty Wonder Bread bakery building on Broadway between Post and Lincoln, was built in 1909 and called the Spokane Bakery. In 1930, it was purchased by Continental Bakery. In 1995, it was bought by Interstate Brands. It was gutted by fire and rebuilt in 1947, which may explain how the roofline on the west end has changed from earlier photos.