We had to do it. There they stand. Silently watching the city as they have been for who knows how long. The years pass, the city grows, and these magnificent structures, while contributing to our sense of place, are probably the least noted. If you haven't guessed, we're talking about the granary elevators that dot Spokane's skyline to the east. Unless you're a new-comer here, they blend in nearly enough that they cease to exist; surfacing only on the off chance that you find yourself on east Trent Ave. or heading north across I-90 on Arthur St.
Certainly the Spokesman Review Tower and the former ONB Building are fine examples of corporate pride and power realized in architecture. However, to us the grain elevators are equally as impressive and we'd argue still contribute to the persona of Spokane as an agricultural hub. And while a few remain in productive use, the others sit idle contributing little other than to give our skyline some texture, or the brave boyfriend a canvas to demonstrate the depth of his feelings. Most of the mills that we present here were designed for utility, but a few supplemented utility with ample decorative touches that are on par with any one of the historic structures in our urban core.
They are a substantial symbol of Spokane's origins and deserve an equal footing with our other prominent structures. It's hard to say what their future use will be. A reader reminded us recently that the old Coast Trading Co. granary complex closest to the central business district was purchased last year for $775,000. Whatever their fate, we're just hopeful that they'll remain for many more years to come.