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Then and Now

Bricks of the Past

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.


Sandifur Motors
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

The building at Bernard and W. Second Ave. was once a Willys dealer which opened in this location in 1951. Today, it is a tuxedo shop.


1925 American Indian Congress
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

The 1925 Indian Congress was held in Spokane and Glover Field, along the Spokane River in Happy Valley, was covered with tipi lodges.


Riverside Avenue
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

There have been many eras of boom and bust in Spokane’s history, and much of it centered around Riverside Ave., where banks and businesses were started, flourished and fizzled out when money ran out.


Hutton Building
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

The Hutton building, at S. 9 Washington St., was built as a four-story building by Levi W. Hutton in 1907 and then three floors were added in 1910 to complete the building as we see it today.


The Monroe St. Bridge
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

There have been a handful of bridges that took Spokane residents across the Spokane River at Monroe St. The earliest were wooden, later steel and most have been cement structures. The early photo here shows a steel structure in 1909. The 2010 shows the familiar cement structure.


The Armory building
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

Another building boasting a century or more of service is the State Armory building at 212 W. Second.


Peters and Sons Florist
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

Peters and Sons Flowers and Gifts opened on the corner of Lincoln and Riverside in 1933. In 1946, they built the newer building that now stands there, pictured here in 1953. The corner store front is now a restaurant.


Riverside and Monroe
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

Here is a look at the busy Monroe/Riverside intersection from 1948. The corners are fronted by the Spokane Club and The Spokesman-Review tower. Where there were once a row of department stores, the large Foley federal building (1966) now sits.


The Mearow Building
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

The Mearow Building, on the 200 block of Sprague, was built around 1905. Owner Joseph Mearow started Bell Furniture in the building, and other furniture stores have operated there.


McClintock Building
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

The McClintock Trunkey Co., an early grocery wholesale distributor, moved to this building at 119 S. Stevens in 1907. The business was sold to Roundup Grocery in 1953.


The Liberty Building
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

The Liberty Building in Spokane once housed Liberty Furniture and the Kemp and Herbert Store. It’s now the home of Auntie’s Bookstore.


Howard St.
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

The first photo is a look south on Howard St. in 1946. The photo was taken while the Eagles Lodge, at 174 S. Howard, was undergoing renovation. The project was formally protested by a letter from the nearby United Methodist Church because of the sale of alcohol that would take place there, just a few blocks away. The former Eagles Lodge is now the theater home of Interplayers.


City Ramp parking garage
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

Another Art Deco designed structure is the City Ramp parking garage which is currently undergoing renovation. It opened in 1928 to try and solve a new-fangled problem: downtown parking.


The Frederick/Longbotham building
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

The Frederick Building was built in 1909 for $40,000. It is now called the Longbotham building.


Spokane City Hall
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

Spokane’s current City Hall building began life in 1929 as a Montgomery Wards department store. The style is Art Deco and the city purchased the building in 1979.


The Legion Building
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

The Legion Building at Washington and Riverside in downtown Spokane was home to the Spokane Club, the Chamber of Commerce, Metals Bank and other enterprises before it was purchased by the American Legion in 1946. It lost its mansard roof to fire in 1939, and fortunately the current owners have restored it to its former glory.


The Bon Marche
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Image One photo archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review

For many years the Bon Marche was the go-to department store in Spokane, especially after the demise of Crescent.


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