LOWER SOUTH HILL - What sits on three parcels, is three stories tall, clad in brick, looks damn good and is smack dab in the medical district? Why the Lower South Hill's latest medical office development proposed for the southwest corner of 6th and Howard.
Remember St. John's Lutheran Church on the NW corner of 3rd and Division? The one that is slated to become a new Best Western? Workers were getting an early start on demolition last week by removing all of the stained glass windows. Well into the project it seems a building inspector took notice and slapped a cheery bright orangeSTOP WORK order on the main entry. Apparently one needs a permit for these kinds of things.
With the capping of the Browne's Addition hole sometime last year things just haven't been the same. Fortunately the demolition of the apartments at 211 S. Cedar (a mere six blocks away) has all but remedied that. It's tough to see from the street but hidden behind all the bling parked along the sidewalk is one big hole. The good news: yellow-caution tape and orange construction cones have been deployed. The bad news: you'll find them in the bottom of the hole when you fall into it. Note: Watch that second right out of the liquor store parking lot into the alley.
This one's a bit of a flashback, but if you weren't around the Inland NW you missed the buzz that was going on over in Kellogg, Id that Memorial Day. From I-90 not much is visible of the massive mining complex that was once Bunker Hill. Millions of cubic yards of contaminated soil, the temporary rerouting of the South Fork of the CDA River, and well over 200 buildings demolished in what was a huge mitigation and cleanup of a mining superfund site. What most people remember though was the day the stacks came down.
On Memorial Day May 27th, 1996 the towering stacks (610 and 715 feet tall) were demo-ed in a public event witnessed by thousands. Fortunately we stumbled across some home video footage taken by a spectator from the hillside across from the stacks. At first thought you might not think a few smelter stacks coming down has much to do with Spokane. But take one look at our skyline and in it you can see reflected the fortunes that
were made and consequently shaped the urban environment we
experience everyday. The Paulsen Buildings, the Great Northern clock tower, the Old National Bank Building, the Spokesman/Chronicle Buildings, and the twin smelter stacks at Bunker Hill. This stuff is our heritage.
The best minute-and-a-half you'll spend on YouTube all week.
Highlight: At 0:42 the guy yelling, "HOLY SH#T, LOOK AT THAT THING GO!"
WEST END - South of the viaduct is a tough place to be an old building, and even tougher if you're west of Monroe Street. While the East Side of downtown is hitting its stride as old buildings are restored and new ones built, the West End plods along with little action aside from the occasional renovation of a car dealership.
This weekend we spotted another building getting 'Wendell-ed' at the corner of 2nd and Adams Cedar. The usual indicators were there - fenced-off sidewalk, windows out, and the sky visible through the top floor. The area was never a prime area for apartment-seekers. The same could be said for West Main 5 years ago. With the Borning Building renovation and West First Ave. exploding a scant two blocks away, the remaining multi-story structures could have a new lease on life if they can hang on. Until then, swing by and get your last looks.
[Send any and all questions, answers, tips and even digital pics to email@example.com.] 14th and Wall: A reader is inquiring about the brick structure at 14th and Wall that is smack-dab in the middle of colina del sur (south hill). The former apartment building is down to nothing but bare bones, and has a fresh six-car garage being constructed out back. Stymied due to the lack of an MLS listing, snazzy webpage, or even a for sale sign, we reach out to you dear readers to assist our tipster. Sweetly located near Rosauers, Picabu, Huckleberry's and le Rocket. Our take: Six one bedroom condos for around $170K ea. You go, in the comments section below.
As mentioned in an earlier post, South Hill commuters have been watching the gradual reduction of the multi-story apartment building at 5th and Monroe. The demo looked a bit precarious at times, what with the steep slope and close proximity to fast moving traffic. Now down to pretty much the bottom floor, an new unobstructed view of downtown is
available for interested parties. And they've even saved the two trees out front...so far.
Rookery watchers will have absolutely nothing to do from here on out. Last time we checked, all traces of the buildings formerly known as the Rookery Block are completely gone. As lame as it is, the new views made us pause for a moment. Soon enough the demolition fences will be down which could only mean: surface parking like-you-would-not-believe. We know you'll miss the updates.
The gaping wound you see before you is the demo progress on what's left of Wendell Reugh's Rookery Block. The Rookery, mowed down in January, is now fill dirt, and the Mohawk is down to its remaining five floors. Wendell Reugh's demo crews are literally consuming this building from the inside-out. Day-by-day the space is changing, and opening up what is the historic heart of downtown (Howard & Riverside).
It's never a good sign when the first two floors of an older building are boarded up. Especially when it's anywhere near the Medical District. Looking at the apartment building on 5th and Monroe it's pretty obvious this one's not long for this world.