There was a time in Spokane's history when the places of worship were among the most grand and well-crafted structures in all of the city. St. John's Cathedral (pdf) on the South HIll, the Westminister Church on the lower South Hill, or Grace Baptist in West Central. The congregations raised and spent monies to create a building that in itself was an altar. Take some time to explore the beauty of the stained glass in St. John's Cathedral on a sunny summer afternoon and you'll see what we mean. The heavy, dense building materials, symbolic of the rock in their lives that was their faith, have allowed these structures to endure well over a century in this city.
With this in mind we present the latest blemish in Spokane - Life Center Foursquare Church. The overall piece of land was around 130 acres
and is nestled between Government Way and the Spokane River. The views
of downtown Spokane are some of the best you can find, but
unfortunately, Metrospokane finds little to praise about the structure
itself. Basically it is big, bland, and will hold lots of people. The church itself is 'intimately' sited on 30 acres of land and it stands in place of a former Central Pre-mix gravel and concrete operation. Although heavy industrial, the Pre-mix plant might have given this mega-church a run for its money in the aesthetic's department.
Approaching the church from Government Way, it is difficult to discern exactly what the structure is. Perhaps that was intentional; to confuse drivers-by of what it is that occupies their entire field of view. It appears as if the design concept was to borrow elements from those present in most turn of the century barns. We're not certain why this is, but it may be that there was some concern over people confusing it with the Veteran's Arena. As it is, this appears to be the biggest structure within sight of downtown. And what a sight it is. One thing is for certain - It is white and it is huge. Unfortunately it really doesn't possess any elements to anchor itself to the site or to frame the road that runs along its eastern property line (think of the new convention center). Instead, it sits adrift in a boiling sea of asphalt on a 30 acre plot of land almost in defiance of all the other Spokane Churches that have come before it. Whatever happened to churches being "embedded in their neighborhoods"? Are those the bells of St. Aloysius?
Chalk this up to another missed opportunity.