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.