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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Manito Park and Boulevard are now listed on national historic register

Anita Condon, left, with Bea, and Janie Strasser, with Heidi, take a brisk early morning walk Aug. 19 through Rose Hill in Manito Park in Spokane. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

As part of a multiyear effort to get Spokane parks and parkways placed on historic registers, Manito Park and Boulevard have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The park and boulevard were previously approved for listing on the Washington Heritage Register last fall.

“It is quite prestigious to be on the national register,” said Lynn Mandyke, chair of the Spokane Historic Landmarks Commission.

Mandyke said the listing shows the park and boulevard are significant features of America’s cultural heritage.

The listing was made possible through a Multiple Property Documentation for Spokane that sets the stage for other city park properties to be nominated to historic registers.

Manito Park and Boulevard are the first park properties in the state to be listed through the multiple property method.

Mandyke is scheduled to appear before the Spokane Park Board on Thursday during its regular monthly meeting at 1:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall to give the board an update.

She said she wants the Park Board to appreciate the significance of the historic integrity of the Manito landscape and structures.

However, the listing does not place restrictions on future uses of the property, she said.

Mandyke said she hopes the Park Board will support additional park listings in coming years. Numerous parks and parkways within the city have strong historical ties that deserve consideration for listings, she said.

They include Coeur d’Alene Park, which is Spokane’s first city-owned park in 1891, and others.

Manito Park, which was previously owned by land developers and known as Montrose Park, was dedicated to the city in 1904.

At least 36 elements within the 90-acre park and boulevard were identified as contributing to the history.

They include basalt buildings, pond, trolley lines in the street, a watering trough, basalt rock walls, remnants of a zoo, gardens, monuments, the loop road and classic archway.

Mandyke said that the listing was a cooperative effort of the landmarks commission and city parks department with the landmarks commission leading the research work over more than two years. Mandyke said she personally spent hours researching archives.

A consultant, Historical Research Associates Inc., of Portland, was hired to complete the nomination form.

Funding for the effort came through the state’s Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Spokane Preservation Advocates, the city’s Historic Preservation Office and city parks.