The Washington Water Power Company formed in 1889 with a small group of investors, all of them focused on building a generating operation on the Spokane River’s lower falls just east of the Monroe Street Bridge. The citywide fire in August of that year spared the equipment and materials and construction continued.
Spokane’s downtown Sears store moved to the new NorthTown mall in 1960. Suburban locations were tempting other stores to move, prompting a movement to find new ways to attract shoppers and keep them downtown.
Businessman Richard F. Robertson of Kirkland, Washington, built Tiffany’s Skate Inn, a $700,000 roller-skating rink at 708 W. Boone Ave. that opened in 1968, offering the Lilac City another entertainment option. It was named for Robertson’s baby daughter. The 30,000-square-foot center had a 100-by-200-foot maple skating floor, a snack bar, pro shop and stage with theatrical lighting and dressing rooms. The managers were Jerry and Joan Peltier, certified skating instructors from the Seattle area.
At the dawn of the 20th century, Spokane’s population was exploding from 36,000 in 1900 to more than 100,000 by 1910. The city’s downtown post office, leasing space in the Auditorium Building, needed more room. A new post office and federal building, one of the first federal buildings in the region, was built at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Lincoln Street in 1909. The national government was now represented by a three-story stone edifice, at a cost of $600,000, at one of the city’s important intersections.
At the Spokane International Airport, about 4 million passengers arrive and depart each year. Before 1965, the terminal building sat on the south side of the runways and United, Northwest and West Coast were the only airlines who used the field.
In the of 1973, the organizers of Expo ’74 took a major step toward the world’s fair success in Spokane by hiring Tommy Walker of Anaheim, California. Expo General Manager Petr Spurney pointed out that Walker was the country’s leading producer of outdoor events and it was appropriate that Walker would be the entertainment consultant to the Spokane fair.