Friends of the Falls recently completed an updated brochure, in part related to our recent Bloomsday trade-show booth. (Thanks to all who dropped by our display to visit, made a contribution or who’ve joined FOF in recent weeks!)
Missed us at Bloomsday? Here’s a link to a downloadable version of the flyer - including a summary of our work, the river’s history, and the Olmsted-inspired Gorge Master Plan. A membership form is included, too!
FOF brochure (928 Kb, Acrobat® file)
Posted by FOF Admin at 04:04 PM.
In preparing our website’s brief on the December 11, 2007 open house for the City’s long-overdue update to its Shoreline Master Program, we pulled out our copy of the original, and were caught by the scope and vision expressed by the “Shoreline Design Plans” included in that document, dating back to 1976.
We know the City’s new version of the shoreline master program won’t include this type of visioning - much of that thought occurred in the wake of Expo ‘74 and simply found its place in the SMP, itself a new creature mandated by the State’s Shoreline Management Act. Besides, the Gorge Master Plan accomplishes that type of work, at least between the Lower Falls and the Hangman Creek confluence.
But like many documents from that area, the 1976 plan reminds us of the energy, optimism and foresight that drove the community in those days; a community that after decades of neglect and decay, seemed to have finally recognized the fact that the river’s health and its own health were one and the same. For instance, page 18 of the plan, which presents concepts for the Central Falls area, states:
“Every community has a heart. It may be a central business district, a civic center, a square, or even a building. The location and character of the heart is paramount as an expression of the character of the whole city. Spokane began on the river near Spokane Falls and Havermale Island. the heart of the City is still there, but cluttered and obscured. By removing this debris, the way is cleared for re-establishing the area in the public mind as the city’s heart. The heart becomes a focus of high aesthetic, social, and cultural significance rather than just some street intersection which is basic to the plan concept of welding together the City, its people, and its river heritage.”
It’s been more than 30 years since those words were adopted, and many would say, shelved. But we’ll set that aside in favor of new optimism - about the development of the new shoreline master program, about the Gorge plan, about new energies in the community and within City Hall, and more.
Quotes like the one above remind us that many in Spokane, many years ago, understood the importance of our river. That so much remains to be done remind us that words are never enough.
Check out our page-merged, 24"-wide version of the map appearing on pages 16 through 18 of the old shoreline master program, from where the quote above is taken, at the link below. A copy of the full document is also linked below.
1976 SMP, pages 16-18 (290 Kb, Acrobat® file)
1976 SMP document (3.5 Mb, Acrobat® file)
Posted by FOF Admin at 01:07 PM.
The link below downloads a copy of a Spokesman-Review article entitled “Olmsteds’ legacy as close as nearest city park,” covering the legacy of the Olmsted brothers’ parks plan delivered in 1908, as well as plans being made to commemorate the centennial. Published May 27, 2007, Jim Kershner, Staff Writer. A map showing boundaries of the Olmsteds’ proposal versus those of today’s parks system, which ran with the article, is also linked below.
SR Kershner article (152 Kb, Acrobat® file)
Olmsteds’ parks map (168 Kb, Acrobat® file)
Posted by FOF Admin at 09:54 PM.
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Here’s another item from our image collection that deserved the slow-pan movie treatment - it’s a wide-angle image showing the Upper Falls and historic “lagoon”, since covered over. Lots of detail, including today’s Flour Mill (distance left), the drop-station power generator in the center of the lagoon, the town’s first waterworks plant (large water-level chute, center), and today’s Riverfront Park clock tower. From the photo caption: “Galland-Burke Brewery - North and South Channels of the Spokane River and Lagoon, Spokane, Wash. - Great Northern R.R. Bridge” (Image courtesy Libby Photography, Spokane)
Lagoon panorama (4.6 Mb, Quicktime® movie)
Posted by FOF Admin at 10:23 PM.