Different. Browne’s Addition may be grander and better known, but Peaceful Valley corners the market on its uniqueness. It is bordered by the river to the north, an imposing ridge to the South, the Central Business District to the east, and the sometimes schmarmy People’s Park to the West. It is a very intimate neighborhood that feels significantly different than any other in Spokane. It has the fine-grid streets of the early 1900s, a relatively good collection of older homes, small lots, and ample public access to the river. Given these attributes, Peaceful Valley is the type of place where you want to leave your car behind. This is old-school New Urbanism present day developers only wish they could replicate.
Originally platted in the 1890s, the area was home to the many laborers who helped rebuild Spokane after the Great Fire in 1889. The lots traditionally measure 25’x100’ in size which is a far cry from the minimum 50’x 80’ size some still seek in the suburban bliss of an Eagle Ridge. Although there are some awful examples of people’s desire to import snout-houses from the suburbs to the area, for the most part, Peaceful Valley has remained relatively untouched by large scale development (excluding the Maple Street Bridge that stepped through in the 1960s). Over the past few years though, the developers have officially discovered the neighborhood. The condos are coming. The best MetroSpokane can hope for is that those enacting their private property rights consider the existing character of the place. Let the gentrification begin.