Sunday, November 15, 2009

August 2009 Road Trip - Kelowna, Spokane (73)

Spokane is a city located in the Northwestern United States in the state of 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, 110 miles (180 km) south of the Canadian border, approximately 20 miles (32 km) from the Washington-Idaho border, and 271 miles (436 km) east of Seattle.

Population ~ 200,000

We REALLY liked Spokane. If it wasn't for the fact that it is in the US, we'd seriously consider retiring there. It's clean, pretty, safe, smallish - but not too small, has all the amenities, etc.

We were there for two nights - one full day and two part days. We spent quite a bit of time in Riverfront Park, which is right downtown. The Expo '74 was held in Spokane and the park is home to the Expo site. The following pix are of Riverfront Park.

Riverfront Park occupies 100 acres of land and water with a rich and varied history. Spokane Falls and the surrounding land has long been a gathering place for people. Native Americans gathered and fished at the falls. In the late 1800's, pioneers settled here and started the city of Spokane. The railroad industry fueled the city's growth and rail yards covered Havermale Island, the present site of Riverfront Park.
Learn more about the history of Spokane Falls and see them for yourself by taking a scenic Skyride.
In 1974, Spokane hosted Exposition '74, "The World's Fair". In preparation for Expo '74, the Spokane River was cleaned up, the rail yards were removed, and the Great Northern Railroad Depot on Havermale Island was demolished. Our Clocktower is all that remains of the 1902 depot.

The Clocktower on Havermale Island was originally part of the Great Northern Railroad Depot. Construction began in 1901 and finished in 1902. []

The Pavilion was built specifically for Expo' 74 and served as the United States Pavilion during the World's Fair. The center support rises 145 feet above ground. The structure was originally covered in canvas. After a few years, the canvas was removed due to wind damage. []

Centennial Sculpture by Harold Balazs. 1978.An abstract aluminum sculpture which floats in the Spokane River. []

This is the Washington State International Agricultural Trade Center (above).

Untitled (lantern) by Harold Balazs. 1974.A concrete sculpture in the form of a large scale Japanese Lantern. []

Lantern and Trade Center in context.

Reflection of Pavilion in the Trade Center windows.

Michael Phillip Anderson (December 25, 1959 – February 1, 2003) was a United States Colonel (USAF), a NASA astronaut, and the Space Shuttle payload commander of STS-107 (Columbia) who was killed when the craft disintegrated after reentry into the Earth's atmosphere.
Anderson was born in Plattsburgh, New York, but considered Spokane, Washington, to be his hometown.

Tour train across the pond in the field.

Australian Sundialby Sister Paula Turnbull.This life-size sundial was created for Expo '74 and contains many symbolic Australian animals. []

Part of the Washington Water Power Upper Falls Hydroelectric development.

Vietnam Veteran's Memorial by Deborah Copenhaver. 1984. The names of all deceased Vietnam veterans from the Spokane area are engraved in the sculpture's pedestal. []

Plaza of Nations - Expo '74.

Spokane Falls is the name of the series of waterfalls and dams on the Spokane River in downtown Spokane, Washington.
The falls consists of an Upper Falls and a Lower Falls. The Upper Falls is the site of the Upper Falls Dam, a diversion dam constructed in 1920 that directs the water into the Upper Falls intake on the south channel of the Spokane River. The Upper Falls Power Plant incorporates a Francis turbine capable of generating 10 MW.
The Lower Falls is the site of a second diversion dam, the Monroe Street Dam. Completed in 1890, it was the first dam built on the Spokane River and is currently the longest-running hydroelectric generation facility in Washington State. Its Kaplan turbine has a generating capacity of 14.82 MW. []

See the three pods hanging there? That's the Skyride. Of course we didn't go on it...

The Joy of Running Together by David Govedare, 1984.

This corten steel sculpture depicts runners of all kinds. It celebrates the Spokane tradition of Bloomsday, the largest timed road running race in the world. []

One of many art deco buildings in the city.

Across the street - O'Doherty's - we ate here. It was good.
Back to the park....

Riverfront Park's 1909 Looff Carrousel is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of America's most beautiful and well preserved hand-carved wooden carrousels.Our Looff Carrousel features 54 horses, 1 giraffe, 1 tiger, and 2 Chinese dragon chairs. []

Goat by Sister Paula Turnbull. This corten steel sculpture of a goat will eat small pieces of trash with the aid of its vacuum digestive system. []

The Childhood Express by Ken Spiering. 1990. Spokane's "Red Wagon" sculpture was created in honor of Washington State's 1989 Centennial. It was a gift from the Junior League of Spokane, many local businesses and the Spokane Arts Commission to the children of Spokane. []

The Washington Water Power Co. - Upper Falls Power Plant - constructed early 1920s.

From the deck of Anthony's a fab restaurant we found the next day.

Joe at Anthony's.

Another Washington Power building.

We drove around to try to find places to take some wide shots of the city - it's pretty flat, so not too easy - then when we did find a place, it was difficult to access - these are the best we could do. Don't know the names of these buildings/bridges, but they are indicative of the city.

There is some really nice art deco architecture downtown.

That's our full day in Spokane. We went shopping next morning before leaving for Cours d'Alane and points beyond. In Spokane we stayed in a Quality Inn that was just excellent - it had a nice pool and very good service in general. Would recommend it. There is more than one but this one is right by one of the highways by a hospital.

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