Nov 14, 2011

The effort to save the Union Station in Spokane.‏

If an atomic bomb blew up over Spokane the last standing building would be the Union Station on Trent Avenue.
That comment was to show how strong this building was. It was intergrated into the girder system that elevated the
tracks to the second story of this structure. When the vote failed to pass to save the stations Expo 74 was given
the green light to start destruction. When the contractors started ripping into it they realized that it was not
coming down easy.
Looking east we see the massive girder system that made up the approaches to the station. Division Street is in the
background, the GN station was to the left of this photo.
The waiting room was a pretty good size an it served the people of Spokane from 1914 to 1971. The railroads that used
it were the Union Pacific, Milwaukee Road and the Spokane International. Perhaps others but I'm not sure. Before the
vote was taken to save it or not something funny happened, There was a pile of trash put up against a wood door and
a fire was a locked building!  I wonder how that happened?  The firemen arrived to a locked building!
So down she comes....ever so slowly. They changed the name of Trent Avenue to Spokane Falls Blvd to make it more
acceptable in a name. Someone explain that to me. The red wagon now sits on this location. How many uses could this
building have in Spokane's future?  I can count a dozen off the top of my head.
Along with losing 2 railroad stations for Expo 74 we also lost a mile long High Bridge just west on downtown Spokane.
The current Centennial Trail bridge now sits on the abutments from this bridge. By the way, I served on the Expo committee
to make this event possible but I think the current Riverfront Park would be a better year round park than the 8 month
useage we have today as there are no buildings to have events happen. When the snow flies hardly anyone uses the park.
What do I know, I'm just a guy from New Jersey. These photos are available on CDs. That's my point of view.  Jerry Quinn


1 comment:

  1. The demolition of iconic buildings is always shortsighted, and almost never leads to any positive, new development. The development, if any, that comes from it is rarely as economically positive as if the iconic building had remained.