Landscape Architect & Specifier News

MAR 2015

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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58 Landscape Architect and Specifier News At the heart of Spokane, Washington are the spectacular waterfalls of the Spokane River. Spokane (pop. 208,916) is in upper eastern Washington state, east of the Cascade Range, 92 miles south of the Canadian border, and just 20 miles from the Idaho border. The Spokane River provided fishing and a gathering place for Spokane and Nez Perce Indians. Pacific northwest settlers harnessed the power of the falls to build a city and fuel industrial growth. The original Monroe Street generating station built in 1889 is still in use today at Huntington Park, part of the hydroelectric development operated by Avista Utilities. Park Redevelopment Commemorates Power Plant's 125 Anniversary In 2012, Avista decided to redevelop Huntington Park to commemorate the company's 125th anniversary and its partnership with the community. Spokane has many annual events that bring hundreds of thousands of people to the downtown. The Lilac Bloomsday Run, which began in 1977, attracts tens of thousands of runners annually from all over (61,298 runners in the 1996 was the peak year). Hoop Fest, a 3-on- 3 basketball competition, fields over 7,000 teams playing on 450 courts. Many parades, conventions and a First Night event on New Year's Eve all bring out the community and visitors. It was time for Spokane to upgrade Huntington Park and create a new modern plaza with increased access to the river. Having worked successfully with Land Expressions before, Avista contacted the firm Above The weir water feature, designed by landscape architect David Nelson, reflects the connection between the city and the Spokane River, where energy, transportation and commerce forever transformed this area. The water feature is a combination of concrete and cut basalt stones arranged in patterns representing the Monroe Street hydroelectric development, and the natural outcroppings of the Spokane River lower falls. A major constraint to the park and plaza design was the gondola ride dating from Expo 1974. The gondola begins in Riverfront Park, crosses the plaza and continues over the hydroelectric facility to the lower end of the falls. The supporting pylons limited grade changes and the height restricted tree locations throughout the project. PhoTo by DEAN DAviS Middle The battery Point staircase is the new gateway into huntington Park. between the substation and a bridge abutment was a decaying brick battery storage building. Land Expressions was also charged with repairing the building's exterior and designing and installing a grand staircase around it to provide access to a river viewing area, now called battery Point, overlooking the upper falls and the river gorge. PhoTo by DEAN DAviS

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