…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
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
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.