Spokane is a city located in Spokane County, Washington. It is the largest city and county seat of Spokane County, as well as the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest region. The city is located on the Spokane River in Eastern Washington. Spokane had 202,319 residents as of 2008. As of 2018, the population had grown to 220,100. Spokane is the principal city of the Spokane Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is coterminous with Spokane County. As of 2008, the county had a population of 462,677. Directly east of Spokane County is the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area, comprised entirely of Kootenai County, Idaho; the combined population of the two counties was estimated at 600,152.


Early YearsEdit

Human occupancy of the site began centuries earlier. A river, particularly its spectacular series of falls, was the reason for both native habitation and later white settlement. Eventually called the Spokane River, this tributary of the Columbia teemed with salmon that sustained the region’s indigenous people, the Spokanes. During salmon runs, other tribes joined the Spokanes at the falls for fishing, trade, games, celebration, and socializing. Although there are varying theories, the most commonly agreed upon meaning of the name “Spokane” is “Children of the Sun.”

As white settlement increased, the Spokanes were swept into the broader Indian-white conflicts of the region. In 1881, the Spokane Reservation was established northwest of the present city, and from 1908, dams on the Spokane River ended tribe's salmon-based way of life.

Fur traders and missionaries were the first people of European descent to traverse the broader area of which Spokane would eventually become the hub. In 1807, David Thompson (1770-1857), fur trader and cartographer with the Canadian North West Company, crossed the Continental Divide and began exploring the watershed of the upper Columbia, including the Spokane River region. Missionaries Elkanah Walker and Cushing Eells (1810-1893) were in the region from 1838-1848. From then on, whites visiting the area were struck not only with the grandeur of the falls but with their potential economic importance.

In 1871, James J. Downing and Seth R. Scranton built a sawmill at the falls on the south bank of the river. In 1873 James N. Glover (1837-1921) and a partner, Jasper N. Matheney, arrived from Oregon seeking land, possibly to establish a town, and were impressed with the potential of the falls site. Without revealing their ultimate intentions, they succeeded in purchasing Downing’s mill and the 160 acres that he held as a squatter under terms of the 1841 Preemtion Act. Glover, who became known as the “Father of Spokane,” next acquired Scranton’s claim. In 1877 he bought out his partner Matheney and persuaded a German-born miller, Frederick Post, to build a gristmill at the falls. Glover soon expanded the existing sawmill and built a general store.

With the benefits of a store, lumber and flour, more families began to settle on the south side of the river. Churches, schools, banks, hotels, saloons and newspapers soon followed. Before long, Post pursued his original intention of establishing a mill farther up the river at what later became Post Falls, Idaho. The Rev. S. G. Havermale, who had arrived in 1875, replaced Post as the miller at Spokan Falls. (During the early years, spelling of the city varied between Spokan and Spokane, and “Falls” was dropped in 1891.)

Among the enterprising settlers of the 1870s were Anthony M. Cannon (1839-1895) and John J. Browne (1843-1912), who bought half interest in Glover’s property, including his store. Cannon became the first banker in Spokane Falls, and Browne set up a law practice. Along with Glover, they were active in real estate development of the newly platted area and became wealthy civic leaders. As more settlers arrived, the need for hotels became clear, and in 1877 the Western House was built, followed the next year by the larger California House. In 1879, Francis H. Cook established the first newspaper, the Spokane Times. The year 1879 also saw the creation of Spokane County, carved out of Stevens County, with Spokane named temporary county seat. A subsequent rivalry with nearby Cheney, including theft of Spokane County records, was eventually resolved in Spokane’s favor. Architect Willis Ritchie completed a French chateau-style county courthouse in 1895.

The 1880s brought growth and prosperity. In 1881, with a population of about 1,000, Spokane was incorporated. The virgin forests in the Northwest were an incentive to railroad development, and in 1883 the Northern Pacific was completed, assuring the city’s future. Mineral discoveries in the Coeur d’Alene area of northern Idaho and the northeast corner of Washington started a boom, first in gold, then in silver, lead, and zinc. For decades, these mines funneled wealth into Spokane. In addition, the fertile wheat-producing Palouse hills to the south, irrigated farms in the Spokane Valley, railroads, and the timber industry made Spokane the undisputed economic center of the Inland Empire.

Enduring institutions, such as Gonzaga University and Sacred Heart Hospital, were founded. A street railway system was established, bridges built, and platting of the north shore of the river was begun. By 1886, Spokane was ahead of San Francisco and Portland in acquiring streetlights.

By the 1880s, Spokane was becoming a major center for agricultural and industrial fairs and conventions. The Washington-Idaho Fair, begun in 1887, continued as the Spokane Interstate Fair, discontinued during the Depression, but revived in 1952. The National Apple Show was held annually at Spokane from 1908 to 1916. Well into the twentieth century, conventions of national irrigation and agriculture organizations, as well as congresses for the mining and timber industries, regularly convened in Spokane.

The 1880s ended with a devastating fire that started on August 4, 1889, destroying much of the city center. A tent city temporarily housed downtown businesses, which carried on as usual. Fortunately, many of the buildings were insured and were quickly replaced with handsome, durable structures of brick or stone. Post-fire Spokane bore the stamp of Kirtland K. Cutter (1860-1939) and other distinguished architects and was soon regarded as the finest city betweenMinneapolis and Seattle.

Perhaps as a show of confidence, in the fall of 1890, Spokane held the Northwest Industrial Exposition, the first industrial fair in the state. The newly operational Washington Water Power Company provided electricity for the imposing new exposition building. The building burned down shortly thereafter, but the influence of the exposition endured.

Then the Panic of 1893 brought unemployment for many and loss of fortunes of such early leaders as Glover, Browne, and Cannon. A Dutch mortgage company, the Northwestern and Pacific Hypotheekbank, which had financed construction of many of the post-fire buildings, foreclosed and, for a considerable time, much valuable Spokane real estate was owned by the Dutch.

In the post-Panic recovery, a new generation of wealthy leaders emerged, mostly mining or railroad men. Among them were Amasa B. Campbell, Patrick (Patsy) Clark, August Paulsen, Levi Hutton (1860-1928), D. C. (Daniel Chase) Corbin (1832-1918), Jay P. Graves (1859-1948), John H. Finch, Robert E. Strahorn, and F. Lewis Clark. Over the years, they increased Spokane’s inventory of Kirtland Cutter-designed mansions. Some of the newspapers published during the 1880s were consolidated under William H. Cowles, founding a family newspaper dynasty whose Spokesman-Review continues to the present. Fort George Wright, garrisoned in 1899, brought a military presence to the city until its closure in 1957.

Into the 20th CenturyEdit

In 1900 Spokane had a population of almost 40,000. Soon the city experienced the transition from the horse-drawn to the motorized era. Street railways were electrified. An interurban railway system linked Spokane with surrounding towns, and feeder railroads connected with transcontinental lines. The year 1905 saw the founding of McGoldrick Lumber, for years Spokane’s largest employer. The Northern Pacific and later the Great Northern railroads promoted settlement by means of brochures promising an agricultural and economic utopia in Spokane and the Inland Empire. Then with the advent of the automobile and improved roads, the city truly began living up to its promotional slogan: “All roads lead to Spokane.”


Downtown Spokane in 1910.

By 1909, Spokane was said to have 26 millionaires, and upscale residential neighborhoods were developing in Browne’s Addition, west of the center, and on the South Hill, picturesque basalt-strewn heights overlooking downtown. Wealthy landowners, realizing that municipal parks adjacent to their “additions” would increase value of the lots they were selling, donated land to the city for that purpose. The nationally famous Olmsted Brothers firm of landscape architects was brought in to suggest designs for parks, residential streets, private gardens, and preservation of the scenic river area. The most influential local promoter of city parks was Aubrey Lee White (1868-1948), first and longtime president of the park board. Spokane women’s clubs were also vital in promoting parks as well as libraries and the arts.

The enormous immigration boom between 1900 and 1910 helped increase Spokane’s population from almost 40,000 to more than 100,000.

In 1895, Washington Water Power had acquired Natatorium Park, already a destination amusement park, in a bend of the Spokane River at the end of the west-bound street railway. First the swimming pool (hence the name), then a proliferation of entertainment and rides attracted hordes of people, thus increasing ridership on Washington Water Power lines. Nat Park closed in 1968, but its classic carousel was relocated to Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane.


Downtown Spokane, early 1900's.

Furthermore, electric interurban trains made it easy to get to Liberty Lake east of Spokane and Lake Coeur d’Alene across the Idaho border. Then as cars made these and other lakes more accessible, Spokanites built vacation cottages, and “going to the lake” became the standard summer activity.


Armistice Day, 1930.

The experiences of Spokane during World War I, Prohibition, the Roaring Twenties and the Depression were mostly like those of other American cities. Spokane mobilized Red Cross and other home front efforts. The flu epidemic of 1918 resulted in more than 1,000 deaths. During Prohibition, local moonshiners did a brisk trade, bootleg liquor flowed across the Canadian border, and law enforcement was often corrupt. An agricultural depression that began during the 1920s resulted in the foreclosure of many farms. The Spokane Stock Exchange, formed in 1897 to trade mining stocks, suffered in the 1929 crash, but recovered to function until 1991.

During the Depression, banks and businesses failed, Spokane’s unemployment rate was one in four, and soup lines were long. However, such relief programs as the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps provided temporary employment and permanent infrastructural improvements. The biggest New Deal project, Grand Coulee Dam, soon crucial to the war effort, provided rural electrification to Eastern Washington and low electric rates that facilitated postwar industry in Spokane.


Shacktown in Spokane, 1945.

During World War II, Spokane was home to the Velox Naval Supply Depot, the massive Galena Army Air Corps supply and repair depot (later Fairchild AFB), Geiger Field, Fort George Wright, and the Baxter Army Hospital. In addition, two federally owned aluminum plants at suburban Mead and Trentwood proved crucial to the war effort. Some 15,000 Spokane residents served in the armed forces and many were employed in war-related industries.

The veterans returned, many to attend local and nearby colleges, such as Gonzaga, Whitworth, Eastern and Washington State, under the GI Bill. They bought the postwar cracker box houses in newly platted developments, and raised children in, as popular lore proclaimed, “a good place to raise a family.” Postwar Spokane coasted in modest prosperity and entrenched conservative values. Its several dozen leading families, intertwined through business, marriage, social life, and civic involvement, continued to run the city. Blue-collar workers received a boost when Henry J. Kaiser took over the Mead and Trentwood aluminum plants in 1946, expanding the peacetime use of aluminum and Spokane’s base of manufacturing jobs.


Spokane International Airport, 1965.

Although relatively unscathed by the social upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s, Spokane underwent other changes. Urban sprawl began to develop, particularly with the completion of Interstate 90 in 1967. With the proliferation of postwar suburban shopping malls, the downtown core declined. Some historic buildings were razed to make room for characterless office blocks and parking lots. Fortunately, a lack of development capital during the period saved others from the wrecking ball. The river area, long a polluted eyesore, crisscrossed by railroad trestles and lined by unsightly warehouses and parking lots, remained neglected.

1974 ExpoEdit


Spokane Expo 74.

Spokane’s business and civic leaders, realizing it was time to halt the slide of the city and to rehabilitate the river, formed a group called Spokane Unlimited. Under King Cole, its first paid director, an audacious plan for restoring the river and surrounding blighted area began to take shape: Expo ’74, a world’s fair with an environmental theme. Through arduous fund raising and complex negotiations with the railroads and other property owners, the city acquired the land. The river was cleared of its crisscross of trestles, and buildings on much of the south bank were razed.

In their place emerged the permanent Riverfront Park, opera house, convention center, and Imax Theater, as well as temporary pavilions of many nations and organizations. The opera house hosted major performers, and the convention center provided a venue for important environmental symposiums. The polluted waters of the river were at least temporarily cleaned up. Overcoming incredible obstacles, Expo ’74, which opened on May 4 and ran until November 4, was a huge success, attended by more than five million people, and leaving an improved city.

Beyond the 1980'sEdit

The energy and cooperation that produced Expo were not sustained during the next two decades. City government was unfocused and contentious, and the public-private relationships that made the fair possible withered. The nationwide slump of the 1980s resulted locally in high unemployment and a stagnant real estate market. A relative lack of skilled workers was exacerbated by a brain drain of many of the city’s best-educated young people.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, major downtown department stores, such as the legendary Crescent, could not compete with suburban shopping malls, and closed. In the 1990s, supposedly secure family-wage industries, such as Kaiser Aluminum, changed ownership, drastically reducing their workforces and pensions.

In an attempt to revitalize the entire Spokane economy, city leaders reinvented themselves with Momentum, a new organization replacing Spokane Unlimited. Although voters opposed to tax increases defeated some of its proposals, Momentum’s efforts eventually led to a new sports arena and the beginnings of a cooperative higher education center.


Downtown Spokane, 2012.

Since the late 1990s, Spokane has been regaining optimism. It continues to shine in the medical field. New libraries have been built, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture expanded, and the art deco Fox Theater is being restored as a home for Spokane’s increasingly acclaimed symphony orchestra. The new arena attracts traveling shows and major sports events. Bloomsday, an annual footrace founded in 1977, attracts about 50,000 participants each spring. Downtown living is becoming an option as architects and preservationists adapt classic Spokane buildings as residential space and develop former railroad land into a riverside mixed-use “urban village.”

The most dramatic and contentious recent development has been River Park Square, a public-private venture creating a downtown mall and parking garage aimed at returning vitality to the city center. Opened in 1999, it resulted in years of litigation, settled in 2005, between its major private backer, the Cowles family, and its public funder, the City of Spokane. A consortium of regional universities is expanding its Spokane campus, educational programs, and technical support to the city. The new convention center under construction should give Spokane a competitive edge. Dwindling manufacturing jobs are being replaced by service and technical opportunities. Although problems remain in the areas of tax base, infrastructure, and public services, comparatively low wages and pockets of poverty, as well as aspects of city government, the future for Spokane looks encouraging. The city’s designation by the National Civic League as an All-American City for 2004, the first time since the Expo year of 1974, indicates that cautious local optimism is justified.



Spokane skyline from Riverfront Park.

Spokane is located on the Spokane River in Eastern Washington, near the eastern border of Washington, about 20 miles from Idaho, 110 miles south of the Canadian border, 271 miles east of Seattle, and 279 miles southwest of Calgary. Spokane is part of the Inland Northwest region, consisting of eastern Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana, and northeastern Oregon. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 58.5 square miles, of which, 57.8 square miles is land and 0.8 square miles is water.

Spokane lies on the eastern edge of the Columbia Basin steppe, a wide sloping plain that rises sharply to the east towards the forested Rocky Mountain foothills, the Selkirk Mountains. The city lies in a transition area between the desert-like Columbia Basin of central Washington and the forested mountains of north Idaho and northeast Washington. The highest peak in Spokane County is Mount Spokane at an elevation of 5,883 feet, located on the eastern side of the Selkirk Mountains. The most prominent water feature in the area is the Spokane River, a 111-mile tributary of the Columbia River, originating from Lake Coeur d'Alene in northern Idaho. The river flows west across the Washington state line through downtown Spokane, meeting Latah Creek which comes from the south directly west of Spokane, then turns to the northwest where it is joined by the Little Spokane River on its way to join the Columbia River, north of Davenport.

Spokane is at an elevation of 1,843 feet above sea level. The lowest elevation in the city of Spokane is the northernmost point of the Spokane River within city limits (in Riverside State Park) at 1,608 feet and the highest elevation is on the northeast side near the community of Hillyard, though closer to Beacon Hill and the North Hill Reservoir at 2,591 feet (790 m).

Climate Edit

Spokane's climate is typical dry and warm during summer when temperatures tend to be in the 70's and 80's. Winters can be very cold with long periods of wet weather. Temperatures range from the 40's to the 20's on average depending on which stage of winter.

The warmest month of the year is August with an average maximum temperature of 82.60 degrees Fahrenheit, while the coldest month of the year is December with an average minimum temperature of 21.60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperature variations between night and day tend to be moderate during summer with a difference that can reach 28 degrees Fahrenheit, and fairly limited during winter with an average difference of 12 degrees Fahrenheit.

The annual average precipitation at Spokane is 16.67 Inches. Rainfall in is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest month of the year is December with an average rainfall of 2.25 Inches. Snowfall rarely accumulates to depths greater than one foot. 

Districts and their Neighborhoods Edit

North Side

The north side of Spokane is a vast patchwork of neighborhoods extending from downtown eight miles north into the suburban Mead area, from the Spokane River Gorge in the west eight miles to Beacon Hill in the east. The north side is largely residential but contains several large retail districts as well as Gonzaga University and Whitworth University. Retail centers such as the Northtown Mall, and Northpointe Plaza lie along Division Street, the city's north-south meridian which splits into U.S. Route 395 and U.S. Route 2 at (The Y) along the city's northern edge.

  • Balboa / Souyth Indian Trail

An arterial now runs along what was once a major Native American thoroughfare in the northwestern part of the city, along the edge of the Spokane River Gorge. Today, the area is dominated by middle to upper-middle class homes, many of which were built from the 1960s to the early 1980s. Many stands of native Ponderosa Pine trees cover the hills and prairies surrounding this neighborhood.

  • Five Mile Heights

A cliff-ringed mesa five miles north of downtown Spokane, and 500 feet higher, Five Mile Heights is one of Spokane's newer residential areas. Homes tend to be costly due to the views, and to the fact that the area lies within the Mead School District. Sky Prairie Park, Prairie View Elementary School and the Five Mile Grange are community hubs. The mesa's north and west slopes remain wild and forested. Although no retail business districts yet exist atop Five Mile Heights, the hill borders the commercial centers of Francis Avenue, Indian Trail Road, Wandermere and North Division. Mead High School is one mile north of the hill. Holy Family hospital lies two miles southeast.

  • Hillyard

A city chartered independently of Spokane, later incorporated into the Spokane city limits. "Downtown Hillyard", which runs along Market Street, was recently designated a National Historic District, a fact which should spur continued redevelopment of the district. Hillyard was named in honor of Great Northern Railway magnate, James J. Hill. It is the poorest section of Spokane per capita. The construction of the new North Spokane Corridor freeway is expected to bring renewal to Hillyard's economy.

  • Logan

The Logan Neighborhood comprises the residential area just north of Gonzaga University in central Spokane. Gonzaga University students occupy many of the neighborhood's homes.

    • University District

There are three connected campuses north-east of downtown, Gonzaga University, Washington State University - Spokane and Eastern Washington University's Riverpoint Campus. Plans call for increases in the student population in coming years, as well as additional housing, services, and entertainment geared toward a young, professional audience. Significant renewal and renovation, primarily of professional and medical business, is occurring in the area east of Division, west of Hamilton and north of the I-90 freeway.

  • Minnehaha

This is a series of neighborhoods along Upriver Drive, along the north bank of the Spokane River about five miles east of downtown Spokane. The area is known for the granite climbing rocks and hiking/biking trails of John H. Shields Park along Upriver Drive; the park is known as Minnehaha rather than as Shields Park. The Centennial Trail bike trail and a series of small parks and swimming holes along the river make this a popular getaway for city residents. Homes tend to be older along the river, with some newer subdivisions appearing on the terraces and slopes above. Just east, past Argonne Road, the Arbor Crest Winery occupies the former Riblet Mansion and its grounds high atop a jutting promontory overlooking the Spokane River and surrounding valley.

  • Nevada / Lidgerwood

Also called 'Nevawood' this area in Northeast Spokane is home to Northtown Mall, which at one time was the largest mall west of the Mississippi. Most houses in this neighborhood were built in the mid-seventies however new home construction is common. Whitman Elementary School, Garry Junior High School and Rogers High School are all located within the Lidgerwood neighborhood.

  • North Hill
    • Garland

A mid-20th century neighborhood two miles north of Downtown. The area (also known as the Garland Business District) is considered a walkable community with many local shops, pubs, and restaurants. Garland is home to one of two Spokane-area Benewah Milk Bottle|Milk Bottles and the Garland Theater, a popular independent movie theater. The Milk Bottle (now a restaurant), and Garland theater serve as the neighborhood's most notable landmarks. The Garland Village is an online guide to this shopping district. In addition the neighborhood has an independent newspaper The Garland Times, which serves as a guide to neighborhood events.

  • North Indian Trail

A suburban area within the northwestern corner of the Spokane city limits, North Indian Trail features upscale homes overlooking the Spokane River Gorge. Large, recent residential developments such as Sundance and Pacific Park are typical. A shopping complex at the intersection of Indian Trail Road and Strong Road serves surrounding communities including Five Mile Prairie, Rutter Parkway, Seven Mile and rural areas beyond.

  • Northwest

A residential neighborhood in the northwest part of the city that features a large park and sports complex known as Shadle Park, also home to Shadle Park High School. The area is composed of post-war houses. There is also a site of historical interest here, Drumheller Springs, the site of the first white American-style school built in the Oregon Territory, circa 1830. Local Indians were taught here by Chief Garry, a chief of the middle Spokane people who preached Christianity and peace among the Native Americans that inhabited Inland Northwest. This site is now managed by the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department as a natural area. A trail that once led from downtown Spokane all the way to Canada still runs through the preserve.

  • West Central

This neighborhood includes Washington State's largest National Historic District, Nettleton's Addition. Like much of Spokane, West Central suffered from mid-century suburban flight earning the area the name of "Felony Flats" to locals, but 2000 Census data showed improvements. In "Socio-Economic Changes in Spokane County Census Tracts from 1990 and 2000," the Spokane-Kootenai Real Estate Research Committee noted "a distinct decline in poverty levels" in West Central. More recently, discussion of Kendall Yards, a large-scale "new urbanism" development bordering the southern edge of West Central, has sparked renewed interest in this historic neighborhood.

  • West Hills
  • Whitman

South Hill

Neighborhoods south of Downtown Spokane are generally known as the South Hill. The area includes Manito Park and other South Hill neighborhoods - Lincoln Heights, Cannon's Addition, South Perry, Comstock, Moran Prairie, and Brownes Mountain. The leafy west end of South Hill is considered Spokane's old money area. From Downtown, the view of the South Hill is dominated by evergreen trees and two large man-made features: Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane's largest hospital, and the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane and a magnificent example of modern English Gothic architecture.

  • Browne's Addition

A National Historic District west of Downtown, Browne's Addition was Spokane's first prestigious address. Notable for its array of old mansions built by Spokane's early elite, in Queen Anne and early Craftsman styles, the area also is home to Coeur d'Alene Park and the recently rebuilt and expanded Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC). A prominent feature of the MAC is Campbell House, a turn of the 20th century mansion built by Amasa Campbell, a local mining magnate. The mansion was designed by renowned architect Kirtland Cutter. His daughter Helen Campbell donated the house to the Eastern Washington Historical Society, which subsequently built a museum on the east lawn. The English Tudor Revival home retains most of its original decor and is a favorite tour destination.

  • Cliff / Cannon
  • East Central

This neighborhood was bisected when Interstate 90 came through decades ago and is still recovering. The area sits at the foot of the South Hill, east of Downtown along the freeway. With plans for feeder lanes to be added to I-90, there will likely be further impact upon the neighborhood where it meets the pavement. What remains of the residential integrity of the area lies to the south of I-90, mostly in an area known as Liberty Park, while the area north of the freeway and east of Hamilton has had little renewal since its original development in the early 1900s. The area between Nevada and the Downtown area is currently experiencing renewal and renovation, with an emphasis on medical and professional business, and is part of the Spokane University District.

  • Grandview / Thorpe

Located just west of Downtown, near Spokane International Airport, Sunset Hill features older neighborhoods with more petite houses, as well as new subdivisions, however some of the lower parts of the hill are very poorly zoned areas with dirt roads, grass lots and very small, dilapidated homes. Sunset Hill is bisected by I-90 and Sunset Boulevard, which represents one of the remaining sections of the old U.S. Route 2, once the main road between Spokane and Seattle prior to the completion of Interstate 90. In fact, I-90 features one of the most striking views of the city and Mt. Spokane behind it in the distance, as seen by travelers heading east along the freeway upon reaching the crest of the Hill on their way down into the city. Of note, the John A. Finch Arboretum, an expansive park filled with a variety of tree species and wildlife, is located on Sunset Hill.

  • Latah / Hanman Valley
  • Lincoln Heights

Spokane local basketball hero Andrew Tighe Mackeon "Mac" Smith grew up in this area. As well, the 2006 film Home of the Brave starring Samuel "L." Jackson, Jessica "Lefty" Biel, 50 "Curtis Jackson" Cent, Chad Michael "Mike" Murray, was set in the fictional town of Lincoln Heights.

  • Manito / Cannon Hill

In the East-West direction, the boundaries of this area is considered to be approximately from Arthur street to Lincoln Street, and in the North-South direction from 14th avenue to 37th avenue. Best described as the area immediately surrounding Manito and Cannon Hill park, which are separated by only two residential blocks, this neighborhood covers a fairly large area. Manito and Cannon Hill are centered prominently in this community and at one point in Manito's history, the park was a zoo with a number of "exotic" animals calling it home. Exhibits included an owl barn, penguins, and large cats of various species.

The neighborhood feeds many local elementary schools including, Wilson, Roosevelt, Hutton, and Jefferson. There is also the Cataldo Catholic School one block north of Cannon Hill Park. Most elementary students move on to Sacajawea middle school and then Lewis and Clark High school. This neighborhood is known in town to be populated mostly by middle class families and features a wide number of eras of homes from Mid-Century Modern to Victorian to Arts & Crafts bungalow style homes. Manito and Cannon Hill park each have a boulevard running nearby which features many of the remaining Craftsman bungalow style homes built, in some cases, as early as 1904.

  • Peaceful Valley

A quaint, long-humble residential neighborhood descending into the Spokane River Gorge just west of downtown, Peaceful Valley is now benefiting from surrounding upscale development in Browne's Addition, Kendall Yards and West Downtown. Still, the Valley remains one of the quietest, greenest, most affordable neighborhoods within easy walking distance of the city's core. A few luxurious riverfront homes mix with a greater number of small bungalows and apartments, some of which are tucked under the huge Maple Street Bridge. People's Park and Latah Creek bound the neighborhood to the west. In many ways, Peaceful Valley seems little changed since the film Benny & Joon was set here in 1993. It is also Spokane's oldest neighborhood in that large, native fishing villages once filled this area.

  • Riverside

Downtown Spokane.

Spokane's central business core boasts recently revitalized shopping, housing and entertainment, with major projects recently completed and more underway. As most river cities do, Spokane revolves around its river, which tumbles through downtown in a series of rapids and falls. Along the river is Riverfront Park (site of the 1974 World's Fair), the Inland Northwest Bank Performing Arts Center, the newly remodeled and expanded Convention Center, and the River Park Square shopping mall. Nearby one finds Davenport Hotel, the growing Davenport Arts District, numerous shops, pubs and restaurants, and much new urban housing on the way, displacing many of the low-income residents and businesses that dominated downtown during the 1980s and 90s. Of special note is a brand new neighborhood being developed on the northern periphery of the downtown core. The new development is called Kendall Yards, and follows similar projects in cities like Houston and Denver. It will feature over 1,500 new urban residences and tens of thousands of square feet of new shopping, entertainment, and office space, making it one of the largest upscale urban redevelopment projects in the country.


Spokane's Riverfront Park.

Downtown is home to Spokane's city and county government offices, most notably the Spokane County Courthouse, built in the style of a French chateau and featuring large turrets and spires. A similarly historic structure houses the Spokane Athletic Club, a Spokane social institution housed in a Georgian-style building designed by famed Spokane architect Kirtland Cutter. The Club sits just across Riverside Avenue from Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, seat of the Catholic Church in the Inland Northwest, and just across Monroe Street from the Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse.

The recently rebuilt Monroe Street Bridge over Spokane Falls is a notable symbol of the city, long featured in postcards and in the city logo. Nearby is the modern main branch of the Spokane Public Library, with its unparalleled views of the Spokane River. Just down Monroe Street is the Fox Theatre, an art-deco movie theatre of yesteryear that recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to become the new home of the Spokane Symphony. At the north end of Riverfront Park is the 12,000 seat Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, home to the Spokane Chiefs Hockey Club and Spokane Shock Arena Football Club. In addition to numerous local and regional events, the Arena plays host to events such as NCAA March Madness, numerous big-name concerts, and in 2007, the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Across Mallon Avenue from the Arena is the Flour Mill, a converted structure that once produced flour in abundance but now houses a variety of offices, shops, and restaurants in a highly unique setting.

  • Rockwood

A mostly middle- to upper middle-class neighborhood, Rockwood is so named because Rockwood Boulevard winds in and around the many houses, parks, and lush, wooded areas. There are many large houses in this area.

  • Southgate
  • South Perry

Originally known as the Grant Park addition, the Liberty Park/Lower Perry Neighborhood dates back to the late 1800s. The Grant Park area was once much larger than it is today. In the old days, it had two lumberyards, a butcher shop, barber shop, library, ice cream parlor, bakery, steam cleaner and several grocery stores. Today, within easy walking distance, you'll find a two convenience stores, laundry services, a drug store, a café, an espresso shop, quilting services, a print shop, dog grooming, small engine repair and sales, auto repair, dance classes, dental and counseling services, hair salon, massage therapy clinic, florist, commercial photographer, martial arts school and a second hand store.

One of Spokane's earliest elementary schools, Grant School is still teaching neighborhood children since it first opened classrooms in 1900. And one of Spokane's oldest religious congregations, the Liberty Park Methodist Church, has kept its doors open since 1912. The Liberty Park Florist has been in business with a long and proud record of serving their community.

Some of the buildings in the business district date back from the early 1920s and feature some fine examples of local granite stonework, decorative shingles and there is even a Dutch windmill, something of a landmark for the area.




Downtown Spokane skyline.


KAYU-TV (FOX 28 News)

KHQ-TV (Q6 NBC News)

KREM (TV) (Krem 2 News)

KXLYITV (Kxly ABC 4 News)

SWX (Swx Right Now Sports and Weather)


Spokane Journal of Business

The Pacific Northwest Inlander

The Spokesman-Review


Baseball: NWL: Spokane Indians

Basketball: ABA: Spokane Sunz

Arena Football: AF1: Spokane Shock

Hockey: WHL: Spokane Chiefs

Soccer: USL: Spokane Spiders


Health systemsEdit

Spokane has five major hospitals. Deaconess Medical Center is the largest hospital in the area. Other major hospitals are the holy Family Hospital, Sacred Heart Medical Center, Saint Lukes Rehabilitation Institute, and Valley Hospital & Medical Center.


The Spokane Police Department services the city as well as the Spokane County Sheriff's Department.



Spokane's downtown skyline. AJM STUDIOS Northwest Photo Journey photo.

Spokane's streets use a street grid that is oriented to the four cardinal directions. Generally in Spokane, the east-west roads are designated as avenues, and the north-south roads are referred to as streets. Major east-west thoroughfares in the city include Francis, Wellesley, Mission, Sprague, and 29th avenues. Major north-south thoroughfares include Maple-Ash, Monroe, Division, Hamilton, Greene-Market (north of I-90), and Ray-Freya (south of I-90). With over 40,000 vehicles per day ADT from Interstate 90 north to the US 2 - US 395 junction, North Division is Spokane's busiest corridor.

Today, mass transportation throughout the Spokane area is provided by the Spokane Transit Authority (STA).

Spokane, Eastern Washington and North Idaho are served by Spokane International Airport (GEG). Spokane International Airport is the second largest airport in the state of Washington and is recognized by the FAA as a small hub.