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Neighborhoods in Spokane, Washington

Spokane, Washington has neighborhoods ranging from the late Victorian-era to the ultra modern, with every social class represented. The neighborhoods listed here are recognized by the city and each has a neighborhood council. The neighborhoods are listed alphabetically under two geographical divisions: those north of the Spokane River and those south.

North Side

This is a collection of neighborhoods extending from downtown up to eight miles north into the suburban Mead area. The North Side is largely residential but contains retail districts and Gonzaga and Whitworth Universities. Retail districts such as the Northtown Mall, Northpointe Plaza and Wandermere 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) the city's northern edge. Division Street also serves as an economic marker, dividing more affluent northwest neighborhoods from the less affluent northeast areas.

Balboa/South 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.

Bemiss

Emerson/Garfield

Five Mile Prairie

A cliff-ringed mesa five miles north of downtown Spokane, and 500 feet higher, Five Mile Prairie 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 Prairie, the hill borders the commercial centers of Francis Avenue, Indian Trail Road, Wandermere and North Division. 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 Railroad magnate, James J. Hill. It is the poorest section of Spokane per capita. A major north-south freeway now under construction in Spokane is expected to bring renewal to Hillyard's economy. Hillyard has significant immigrant populations such as Russian, Marshall Islands, and Vietnamese.

Logan

The Logan Neighborhood comprises the residential area just north of Gonzaga University in central Spokane. Gonzaga University students occupy 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 is considered a walkable community with many local shops and the Garland Theater, a popular independent movie theater. 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

A catch-all phrase for neighborhoods south of Downtown. The area includes Manito Park and other South Hill neighborhoods - Lincoln Heights, Cannon's Addition, South Perry Business District & Neighborhood (external link), Comstock, Moran Prairie, and Brownes Mountain. The South Hill is considered Spokane's old money area and is often thought of as a figurative opposite to Spokane's north side, which tends to be more commercialized and sprawling. 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) (external link). 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.

Chief Garry Park

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.There was a dead Indian found in this area, believed to be murdered. Suspects name is Christopher Lewis.

Latah/Hangman 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, primarily, Roosevelt, Hutton, and Jefferson. 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 modern and Victorian style homes. Manito and Cannon Hill park each have a boulevard running nearby which features many of the remaining Victorian 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 benefitting 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

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.

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, currently undergoing 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.

References

External links

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