Ahhh...Grand Avenue, one of Spokane's finest streets. Driving up past St. John's Cathedral, slipping under the tree-covered canopy along Manito Park, the fine old homes, quaint small businesses nestled into the fabric of the neighborhood...and then you hit 29th and Grand. WTF? Friends, it looks like Walgreens has brought their "D" plans to the South Hill. Not that 29th and Grand was any great bastion of pedestrian
friendliness, but this was a prime opportunity to change that and it went
uncontested. A well-sited building can be a wonderful thing.
On a recent visit to Seattle's U-District we saw one of the more neighborhood sensitive designs Walgreens provides neighborhoods (photos below) when neighborhoods demand it. How they decide between an 'A'-level plan and our 'D'-level plan likely has a lot to do with pushback from the community.
Instead of providing a building that enhances the neighborhoood and pedestrian orientation the Manito District Center got a standard mobile generic pharmacopoeia in the center of a sea of asphalt. 29th and Grand, Sprague and Pines, Division and Lincoln Rd. What's the difference? Absolutely nothing according to Walgreens.