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Then and Now

Changes in Coeur d’Alene

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.


Government Way
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Government has always been a major arterial, but updates in the last 20 years has made it much more user friendly. At one time it was a rutted two-lane road with wide dirt fringes and now it is four lanes with traffic lights.


Ramsey Road
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Before a major renovation, Ramsey Road, a north-south arterial on the west side of Coeur d’Alene was a two-lane road with dirt shoulders. It was inevitable that it would get a renovation, opening it up to four lanes and easing traffic brought on by the residential boom that came in the form of subdivisions like Park Place, Park Terrace and Coeur d’Alene Place. The two photos are from 1994 and 2011.


Northwest Boulevard
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Northwest Boulevard on the city’s western edge, has undergone some upgrades, including public art, traffic revisions and the entrance to the Riverstone development. It has always been a busy thoroughfare, especially at rush hour. Mayor Steve Judy spearheaded some of the beautification projects even though some criticized the effort as unnecessary. David Govedare produced the giant feathers that are in the median of Northwest Blvd. today. The photos were taken in 2000 and 2011.


Lincoln Way
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At one time, Lincoln Way crossed Northwest Blvd. just west of downtown. North Idaho College students would accelerate across the busy intersection enroute to school. Sadly, the uncontrolled intersection was the scene of some terrible crashes, including one that killed NIC student Jenny Stokes. The city decided to close the intersection in 1995. The photos are from 1995 and 2011.


McDonalds on Sherman
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Did you know there was once a McDonald’s restaurant on Sherman Ave.? It was a small “express” counter that had to compete with the many popular hamburger restaurants, including the nearby icon, Hudson’s Hamburgers. The storefronts along Sherman have changed many times in the recent years. The photos are from 1994 and 2011.


Robin Hood RV Park
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The tiny RV park that sat on the edge of the North Idaho College campus is long gone, replaced by a parking lot for college students. The RV park housed transients, students, workers in town for construction projects and some tourists. It was a holdover from when Highway 10, the precursor to I-90, followed Northwest Blvd. and Sherman Ave. through town and adventurous travelers in Model Ts needed a place to stop. In that era, many motels and campgrounds dotted the route through Coeur d’Alene and few are left. The photos are from 1991 and 2011.


Government Way south
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Government Way south of Appleway has blossomed as a business district thanks to renovations that added four lanes and curbs.


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