Spokane Loves Preserving its Buildings, and Protecting its Ducks

Spokane is Washington’s second largest city, but has the feel of a big town. One thing that’s striking about the downtown are the buildings.  They stopped me in my tracks.  I love the Parkade Parking garage, with a Guggenheim-esque spiral ramp and fancy 1960s style tips on the columns of the structure.  I took a walk yesterday and found myself shooting shot after shot of the decorations of the 1920s buildings.  The fancy decorations on the outside kept catching my eye.

Pam Scott, who runs the press relations for the tourism board here, told me over dinner last night that more money has been spent on historic preservation here than in any other city in the state. They just don’t like to use the wrecking ball much in Spokane, they preserve and protect instead.  Yet there are some things that have changed and have been removed.

This was clear when we viewed a series of photos along the wall of the Clinkerdagger restaurant and saw a progression, first a series of railroad tracks near the falls in the 1940s, then no more tracks and a park, and finally LOTS more green park and an area along the river that’s open for everyone to enjoy.

The city built a gondola system over the falls, so tourists can gawk at the flowing water from the comfort of a 6-seat bubble. Once last year ducks were hatching near where the gondola cars turn around, so they hired somebody to sit in a lawn chair to protect the baby ducks.  “That’s such a west coast thing,” someone said.