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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Dairy might be torn down

Carnation building empty for years

An empty dairy building on West Cataldo Avenue is likely to be torn down this summer, city officials said Monday.

The Riverfront Park Committee of the Spokane Park Board is recommending a $297,000 contract with Talisman Construction Services of Spokane for demolition. The contract will be up for approval at the Aug. 9 meeting of the full Park Board.

The park department bought the building following a 1999 voter park bond issue.

Part of the bond was used to purchase 5.7 acres of former dairy land on the north bank of the Spokane River for a science center. The property cost $3.5 million.

Commonly called the Carnation Dairy building, the portion slated for demolition is attached to the west side of the historic 1910 Broadview Dairy Building at the southwest corner of Washington Street and Cataldo.

Carnation bought Broadview in 1929 but continued selling milk products under the Broadview label until 1946. In 1948, Carnation expanded the facility with the brick addition on the west side.

At the time, a hostess area upstairs was furnished with pink drapery to match the floors, coral leather furniture and windows looking out over the production area, according to a historic nomination report on the Broadview Dairy Building. Milk production there ended in 1997.

The original Broadview Dairy herd was established in 1896 or 1897, the historic nomination said.

Mobius, a nonprofit community organization, had sought to develop the property in an agreement with the Park Board but was unable to raise enough money to make the project go.

Two years ago, Mobius shifted its plans and on Friday is opening its new science center in the former downtown J.C. Penney building, which is owned by Cowles Co., owner of The Spokesman-Review.

The 26,000-square-foot science center will have 75 interactive and hands-on exhibits at Lincoln Street and Main Avenue. A grand opening is planned for Sept. 8.

Meanwhile, the old Carnation building has sat empty under city ownership, attracting vagrants and giving the city headaches keeping it secured.

The building itself is ineligible for designation as a historic landmark, said Leroy Eadie, park director.

“We don’t have a use for the building,” he said.

The park department is studying the site as part of a new master plan for Riverfront Park.

Talk has continued to focus on development of the property with a mix of offices and retail spaces in a potential public-private partnership. Or it could be turned into an extension of Riverfront Park.

City officials have discussed the possibility of selling the property for private development.

“It’s got some pretty nice views,” Eadie said.

For now, the property will be converted to unpaved parking.

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