Downtown Spokane is the central business district of the city of Spokane, Washington. The area has a rich and diverse history, dating back to the early days of the city's founding in the late 1800s.
Spokane was established in 1871 and grew quickly due to its location as a transportation hub for the mining and timber industries. The city's downtown area quickly became the commercial and cultural center of the city, with numerous theaters, hotels, and shops opening up in the early 1900s.
One of the most significant events in the history of downtown Spokane was the Great Fire of 1889, which destroyed most of the city's commercial district. The area was quickly rebuilt, however, and many of the historic buildings that still stand today were constructed in the aftermath of the fire.
In the early 1900s, downtown Spokane became known for its vibrant entertainment scene, with numerous theaters and music halls opening up. The Fox Theater, which opened in 1931, is one of the most famous examples of this era, and is still in operation today as a performing arts venue.
During the mid-1900s, downtown Spokane underwent a period of decline, as businesses and residents began to move to the suburbs. In the 1970s and 1980s, however, the city began a revitalization effort, which included the creation of Riverfront Park, the development of the Spokane Convention Center, and the renovation of many historic buildings in the downtown area.
Today, downtown Spokane is a bustling commercial and cultural center, with a variety of shops, restaurants, museums, and entertainment venues. The area is home to many historic buildings, including the Davenport Hotel, the Spokane Club, and the Old City Hall, which now houses the Spokane Symphony.
Top Tourist Attractions
- Riverfront Park: This park is located in the heart of downtown Spokane and offers scenic views of the Spokane River. It features a carousel, an IMAX theater, an amusement park, and many walking and biking trails.
- Spokane Falls: The Spokane Falls are located in the center of the city and provide a stunning backdrop for visitors. There are several viewpoints from which to see the falls, including a skywalk that spans the river.
- Bing Crosby Theater: This historic theater was built in 1915 and has been beautifully restored. It hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, including concerts, plays, and movies.
- Mobius Children's Museum: This museum is located in the heart of downtown Spokane and is dedicated to children's learning and discovery. It features a range of interactive exhibits that encourage kids to learn through play.
- Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture: This museum showcases the history and culture of the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on the Spokane region. It features a range of exhibits, including Native American artifacts, contemporary art, and historic displays.
- The Steam Plant: This former steam plant has been converted into a unique restaurant and bar. The industrial design and innovative menu make it a popular destination for foodies and architecture enthusiasts.
- The Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox: This beautifully restored theater is a Spokane landmark and hosts a range of performances, including concerts, plays, and dance shows.
These are just a few of the many attractions that downtown Spokane has to offer. Visitors can also enjoy shopping, dining, and exploring the city's historic architecture.
Downtown Spokane has a semi-arid climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are generally hot and dry, while winters are cold and snowy.
The average high temperature in July, the warmest month of the year, is around 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius). The average low temperature in January, the coldest month of the year, is around 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 degrees Celsius).
Downtown Spokane receives an average of around 17 inches (43 cm) of precipitation each year, with most of it falling as snow between November and March. The area also experiences occasional thunderstorms during the summer months.
Overall, downtown Spokane enjoys a relatively mild climate with comfortable temperatures in the spring and fall, making it an ideal time for visitors to explore the city's many attractions. However, visitors should be prepared for the possibility of hot and dry weather in the summer and cold and snowy weather in the winter.
The city is situated along the Spokane River, which flows through the center of downtown and provides scenic views and recreational opportunities for visitors.
The downtown area is bordered to the north by the Spokane River Gorge and to the south by I-90, a major east-west highway that connects Spokane with other cities in the region. The Spokane River Gorge is a deep canyon that provides a natural barrier between downtown Spokane and the residential neighborhoods to the north.
Downtown Spokane is situated at an elevation of around 1,900 feet (579 meters) above sea level, and is surrounded by hills and mountains on all sides. To the east of the city lies the Selkirk Mountains, while to the south and west are the Columbia Plateau and the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.
The downtown area itself is relatively flat, with many of the major streets and buildings laid out in a grid pattern. The Spokane River runs through the center of downtown, and several bridges connect the two sides of the city. Overall, downtown Spokane's geography is characterized by its location along a major river and its proximity to mountains and other natural features.