downtown spokane blog

July 25, 2005

 

A DOWNTOWN DIVIDED: PART II

2 Comments:

Anonymous Daedalus said...

These river projects look absolutely stellar. It would greatly improve the downtown area. Unfortunately, it looks as if they are only in the early planning stages for their proposed projects. Most likely it will be years before we'll see any ribbon cutting ceremonies. Still, I wish them luck and hopefully their movement will gain traction quickly.

July 26, 2005 10:45 AM

 
Blogger astazio said...

I agree, this project will not be completed for years, if not decades. But work has already begun on it. The new Sandifur Bridge was built for pedestrians to be able to access the Centennial Trail between the western portion and downtown.

And like downtowns all over the nation these projects are started and finished in waves. In the next few years we will have the new convention center, a new high-rise, and an outdoor interactive fountain. By the time those are completed a whole new list of projects will be in the works, as well as those just being put down on paper.

July 27, 2005 9:09 PM

 

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What would you say if I told you that the designers of the great Central Park in New York City had big plans for the river running through Downtown Spokane? You may not believe me. That may be because it has taken nearly a century for that vision to come to pass.

The original report was done in 1908 by the Olmsted Brothers, who were part of a landscape architecture firm that developed parks all over tha nation. A recently finished Strategic Master Plan keeps the brothers vision alive for the unique urban falls running through the heart of the city. An area known as the 'Great Gorge Park' will soon be a lively part of the downtown experience.
Excerpts from the Friends of the Falls website: "Nothing is so firmly impressed on the mind of the visitor to Spokane, as regards its appearance, as the great gorge into which the river falls near the center of the city. It is a tremendous feature of the landscape and one which is rarer in a large city than river, lake, bay or mountain. Any city should prize and preserve its great landscape features, inasmuch as they give it individuality." [The vision in 1908 by the Olmsted Brothers]

"Imagine a dynamic living river minutes from Downtown, through the Gorge area and onto the 10,000-acre Riverside State Park. An eleven-mile river corridor accessible to all people in kayaks, canoes, rafts and inner-tubes; birdwatcher and Frisbee golf enthusiasts; mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners; campers (in Riverside State Park); and walkers. Think about the opportunities for new school field trips about the local environment; university student learning expeditions; multiple connections to adjacent neighborhoods; fantastic views within a natural, protected, accessible and urban river corridor. This will change the self-image of the Spokane region. An enhanced river corridor loved and cared for by the citizens of Spokane will increase their enjoyment and its health for generations to come. An active, beautiful and accessible river corridor will fill people in Spokane with pride and reinforce a sense of place as it dramatically demonstrates Spokane: Near nature. Near perfect." [The vision in 2005 by Friends of the Falls]

PRIORITY PROJECTS
  • INTERPRETIVE AND WAYFINDING SIGNAGE PROGRAM
  • SPOKANE GORGE BOULEVARD
  • NORTH POINT OVERLOOK
  • CONFLUENCE AREA VISITOR ARRIVAL POINT
  • GREAT SPOKANE RIVER GORGE LOOP TRAIL
  • CENTENNIAL TRAIL COMPLETION IN THE GORGE AREA
  • PEACEFUL VALLEY BOAT LAUNCH
  • WHITEWATER PARK
  • TRIBAL CULTURAL CENTER
  • HIGH BRIDGE PARK MASTER PLAN DEVELOPMENT
link: Friends of the Falls
link: Strategic Master Plan