homes in browne's addition

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Browne’s Addition

…And what makes it such a cool neighborhood!

Browne’s Addition is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Spokane, and it’s easy to see why. The neighborhood has a rich and diverse history, a unique cultural vibe, and the breweries aren’t too bad, either!

Whether you’re a Spokane native or considering moving to the area, here are 7 things you probably didn’t know about Browne’s Addition:


#1 It’s Named After a Man, Not a Color


Although Browne’s Addition is often written as “Brown’s Edition,” this is actually incorrect! The neighborhood is named after its founder, John J. Browne (or J.J. Browne to his friends), who built the neighborhood in addition (get it?!) to the existing Spokane Falls area. When Browne’s Addition was founded, there were less than 55 people living in all of Spokane Falls. Browne and his partner, A.M. Cannon, purchased 120 acres of land, which would become Browne’s Addition and Cannon’s Addition, respectively.


#2 It’s the Oldest Neighborhood in Spokane


Browne purchased the land to found Browne’s Addition in 1878, making it the first official neighborhood in Spokane. Just 10 years later, Brown and Cannon had founded the Spokane Street Railway Company and the first horse-drawn streetcar line ran from Browne’s Addition to Downtown Spokane on April 15th, 1888.  


#3 Part of the Neighborhood was Acquired Through the Homestead Act


By the end of the 1800’s, Browne’s Addition was starting to get a lot of attention from the wealthy community in Spokane. Its close proximity to downtown and its stunning views of the Spokane River made the neighborhood highly desirable to those who could afford it. Eager to grow the neighborhood and capitalize on the local interest in the area, J.J. Browne applied for and was approved for a homestead grant for the remainder of the land that he didn’t already own.

#4 Coeur d’Alene Park Was Built to Attract High-End Home Builders 

coeur d'alene park wa

Coeur d’Alene Park in the winter

In keeping with the theme of growing the neighborhood and attracting the wealthy, Browne and Cannon decided to build a park. Both Browne and Cannon donated land to the park equally. For over 120 years, Coeur d’Alene Park has been a local gathering point for Spokanites. The park is full of enormous trees, lush green grass, and is surrounded by mansions of every variety. Coeur d’Alene Park was hugely instrumental in growing Browne’s Addition into the neighborhood and cultural epicenter it is today.


#5 The Neighborhood Was Once Considered “Low Rent”


Browne’s Addition was originally a high end neighborhood – extremely high end. Mansions of every make and model can be found on nearly every street, even to this day. But after the Great Depression, the type of lodger interested in the Browne’s Addition started to change. The neighborhood’s close proximity to downtown made it appealing to the working class, and it wasn’t long before those large mansions started to be broken up into smaller apartments or rented out on a room-by-room basis. This trend continued on for several decades, until a savvy group of investors came in during the 1980s and fueled an urban revival in the Browne’s Addition. Thirty years later, Browne’s Addition has reclaimed its status as luxurious and hip, and has been officially registered as a Historic District since 1976.


#6 The Real Estate Ranges From Modern Condos to Victorian Mansions


One great carryover from Browne’s Addition’s sordid past is that many of those mansions that were broken up post-Depression have been converted into condos and townhomes. This means that there is a little something for every budget. Condos and townhomes are surprisingly reasonably priced, especially at the edges of the neighborhood. Home buyers can enjoy all the perks of the neighborhood – its walkability, proximity to downtown, museums, restaurants, and breweries – for prices in the $200,000s. Buyers who want to live closer to Coeur d’Alene Park will pay a little more for the real estate. And of course, bungalows, ramblers, and mansions can be purchased for those looking for a single occupancy home. Real estate in this area is coveted, so start your home search early.


#7 It’s Only a 10 Minute Walk to Downtown


We’ve mentioned several times that Browne’s Addition is close to downtown Spokane, but did you know it’s only a 10 minute walk?! This is the perfect neighborhood for young professionals who work downtown, but also for downsizers and empty nesters who don’t want the burden of owning and maintaining a car. If you don’t want to walk to downtown, there are plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques, bars, and breweries right in Browne’s Addition. And don’t forget, Browne’s Addition first became renowned for its beautiful landscapes and views, so you really aren’t going to find a prettier walk anywhere else!


Looking to Buy a Home in Browne’s Addition? 


Real estate in Browne’s Addition is highly sought-after, which is why the Real Estate Agent Spokane Team

spokane realtor

Carrie Meyer, Real Estate Agent Spokane Team

recommends setting up a search early on. Even if you’re just considering the area amongst others, an MLS search can give you an accurate and timely idea of what’s available and for what price. I specialize in helping people relocate to Spokane, and Browne’s Addition is one of the most popular neighborhoods my clients move to.


If you’re looking at moving to Browne’s Addition or anywhere else in Spokane, we’d love to learn a little more about your move and help you find the perfect space. Whether you’re looking to upgrade, relocate, or downsize (or all three!), we can help you find what you’re looking for. Contact me today to set up a custom search and learn more about how you can buy a house while still living out of state.

Living in Spokane is a Walk in the Park

Life in Spokane provides a unique city experience. Residents get to enjoy all the amenities of city life while never being more than a short drive from a park. Spokane’s parks truly define the city and the local community. Life in one of Spokane’s park neighborhoods has a charm you just can’t find elsewhere.

How did Spokane get so many parks?

The City of Spokane was actually built around the parks, rather than adding them as an afterthought years into development. This foresight was all thanks to Aubrey Lee White, President of the Spokane Board of Parks since its inception in 1907 (a seat he held for 15 years). White had returned to Spokane after working for parks departments in several major cities on the East Coast. While there, he saw cities struggle to fit parks into already developed areas almost as an afterthought. These efforts came at great cost and with much difficulty. White was certain Spokane could do it better, and he was right!

The “Lilac City” did steal a little bit of what the East Coast had to offer by bringing on the Olmsted Brothers. The Olmsted Brothers are the landscape architects responsible for New York’s famous Central Park. In fact, White commissioned the Olmsted Brothers to design almost all of Spokane’s parks. The Olmsted Master Plan outlined four major parks, five smaller parks, and multiple playfields. Their plan even included improvements to 10 previously designed parks. By 1913, most of these plans had already come to fruition.

According to the Spokane Parks & Rec website, “many of Spokane’s best-known parks, including Finch Arboretum, High Bridge, and Downriver Parks owe their existence to the Olmsted plan. Even pre-existing parks, including Manito Park, owe much of their aesthetic appeal to Olmsted suggestions.” Today, these parks remain a top priority for city members and city counsel alike. The parks are so important that even city building regulations are in place to protect the parks through limitations on building heights. Tall buildings would cast too many shadows across these beautiful outdoor spaces.

Real Estate Around the Parks

Because Spokane was built around its parks, real estate in the neighborhoods around Spokane’s most beautiful parks are in high demand. These neighborhoods often have their own cultural identities and form tight knit communities based on their local park.

Manito neighborhood on Spokane’s South Hill is one of the most coveted in the city. Residents can walk their dogs under the canopy of 100 year old trees lining their streets. Foodies can eat at numerous quant restaurants and coffee shops, and families can enjoy live music and movies in the park during the summer.

Coeur d’Alene Park sits at the center of the Browne’s Addition neighborhood in Spokane. Homeowners in Browne’s Addition cite the neighborhood’s walkability and park access as reasons to love the neighborhood. Browne’s Addition is known for its local restaurants and trendy nightlife scene.

Spokane’s Riverfront Park is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city. Riverfront Park once hosted the Expo ‘74 World’s Fair. Today, the park sits front and center in downtown Spokane and hosts events like food truck festivals, yoga in the park, and more.

Interested in looking at real estate in Spokane around these beautiful park neighborhoods ? Contact me today to see what’s available in your dream neighborhood.