Spokane, Washington
Overview
Spokane is a city located in the Northwestern United States
Northwestern United States
The Northwestern United States comprise the northwestern states up to the western Great Plains regions of the United States, and consistently include the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, to which part of southeast Alaska is also sometimes included...

 in the state of Washington. It is the largest city of Spokane County
Spokane County, Washington
Spokane County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington, named after the Spokane tribe. As of the 2010 census the population was 471,221, making it the fourth most populous county in Washington state. The largest city and county seat is Spokane, the second largest city in the state,...

 of which it is also the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

, and the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest region. The city is located on the Spokane River
Spokane River
The Spokane River is a tributary of the Columbia River, approximately long, in northern Idaho and eastern Washington in the United States. It drains a low mountainous area east of the Columbia, passing through the city of Spokane, Washington.-Description:...

 in Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington is the portion of the U.S. state of Washington east of the Cascade Range. The region contains the city of Spokane , the Tri-Cities, the Columbia River and the Grand Coulee Dam, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the fertile farmlands of the Yakima Valley and the...

, 110 miles (180 km) south of the Canadian border, approximately 20 miles (32.2 km) from the Washington-Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

 border, and 271 miles (436.1 km) east of Seattle.

David Thompson
David Thompson (explorer)
David Thompson was an English-Canadian fur trader, surveyor, and map-maker, known to some native peoples as "Koo-Koo-Sint" or "the Stargazer"...

 explored the Spokane area and began European settlement with the westward expansion and establishment of the North West Company
North West Company
The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal from 1779 to 1821. It competed with increasing success against the Hudson's Bay Company in what was to become Western Canada...

's Spokane House
Spokane House
Spokane House was a fur trading post founded in 1810 by the British-Canadian North West Company under direction of David Thompson. The post was sited on a peninsula where the Spokane River and Little Spokane River meet. Today this site is in Spokane County in the U.S...

 in 1810.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Spokane is a city located in the Northwestern United States
Northwestern United States
The Northwestern United States comprise the northwestern states up to the western Great Plains regions of the United States, and consistently include the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, to which part of southeast Alaska is also sometimes included...

 in the state of Washington. It is the largest city of Spokane County
Spokane County, Washington
Spokane County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington, named after the Spokane tribe. As of the 2010 census the population was 471,221, making it the fourth most populous county in Washington state. The largest city and county seat is Spokane, the second largest city in the state,...

 of which it is also the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

, and the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest region. The city is located on the Spokane River
Spokane River
The Spokane River is a tributary of the Columbia River, approximately long, in northern Idaho and eastern Washington in the United States. It drains a low mountainous area east of the Columbia, passing through the city of Spokane, Washington.-Description:...

 in Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington is the portion of the U.S. state of Washington east of the Cascade Range. The region contains the city of Spokane , the Tri-Cities, the Columbia River and the Grand Coulee Dam, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the fertile farmlands of the Yakima Valley and the...

, 110 miles (180 km) south of the Canadian border, approximately 20 miles (32.2 km) from the Washington-Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

 border, and 271 miles (436.1 km) east of Seattle.

David Thompson
David Thompson (explorer)
David Thompson was an English-Canadian fur trader, surveyor, and map-maker, known to some native peoples as "Koo-Koo-Sint" or "the Stargazer"...

 explored the Spokane area and began European settlement with the westward expansion and establishment of the North West Company
North West Company
The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal from 1779 to 1821. It competed with increasing success against the Hudson's Bay Company in what was to become Western Canada...

's Spokane House
Spokane House
Spokane House was a fur trading post founded in 1810 by the British-Canadian North West Company under direction of David Thompson. The post was sited on a peninsula where the Spokane River and Little Spokane River meet. Today this site is in Spokane County in the U.S...

 in 1810. This trading post was the first long-term European settlement in Washington and the center of the fur trade between the Rockies
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 and the Cascades for 16 years. In the late 19th century, gold and silver were discovered in the Inland Northwest. The Spokane area is considered to be one of the most productive mining districts in North America. Spokane's economy has traditionally been natural resource based; however, the city's economy has diversified to encompass other industries, including the high-tech and biotech sectors.

The city of Spokane (then known as "Spokane Falls") was settled in 1871 and officially incorporated as a city in 1881. The city's name is drawn from the Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 tribe known as the Spokane
Spokane (tribe)
The Spokane are a Native American people in the northeastern portion of the U.S. state of Washington. The Spokane Indian Reservation, at , is located in eastern Washington, almost entirely in Stevens County, but includes two very small parcels of land and part of the Spokane River in...

, which means "Children of the Sun" in Salish
Salishan languages
The Salishan languages are a group of languages of the Pacific Northwest...

. Spokane's official nickname is the "Lilac
Lilac
Syringa is a genus of about 20–25 species of flowering woody plants in the olive family , native to woodland and scrub from southeastern Europe to eastern Asia, and widely and commonly cultivated in temperate areas elsewhere....

 City", named after the flowers that have flourished since their introduction to the area in the early 20th century. Completion of the Northern Pacific Railway
Northern Pacific Railway
The Northern Pacific Railway was a railway that operated in the west along the Canadian border of the United States. Construction began in 1870 and the main line opened all the way from the Great Lakes to the Pacific when former president Ulysses S. Grant drove in the final "golden spike" in...

 in 1881 brought major settlement to the Spokane area. Spokane is also known as the city that founded Father's Day, a holiday celebrating fatherhood every year in the month of June.

With a population of 208,916, according to the 2010 Census, Spokane is the second largest city in Washington, and the third largest in the American portion of the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

, behind Seattle, and Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, and is the 100th largest city in the United States. Spokane is the principal city of the Spokane Metropolitan Statistical Area
United States metropolitan area
In the United States a metropolitan statistical area is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area. Such regions are not legally incorporated as a city or town would be, nor are they legal administrative divisions like...

, which is coterminous with Spokane County. As of 2010, the county had a population of 471,221.

Directly east of Spokane County is the Coeur d'Alene
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Coeur d'Alene is the largest city and county seat of Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. It is the principal city of the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area. Coeur d'Alene has the second largest metropolitan area in the state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census the population of Coeur...

 Metropolitan Statistical Area, composed entirely of Kootenai County, Idaho
Kootenai County, Idaho
Kootenai County is a county located in the U.S. state of Idaho. The county was established in 1864, named after Kootenai tribe. The entire county comprises the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 138,494 at the 2010 census...

; the combined population of the two counties was estimated at 609,715 in 2010 census. Spokane's Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is expected to be officially combined with Kootenai County by the federal government and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget once the 2010 Census is tallied. The new MSA is likely to be named "Spokane-Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Area". It is expected that by that time, the area will have upwards of 650,000, and this change will occur no later than 2013.

History

The first humans to live in the Spokane area arrived between twelve to eight thousand years ago and were hunter-gatherer
Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer or forage society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were...

 societies that lived off the plentiful game in the area. Over time the forests in the area began to thin out and the Native Americans became more dependent upon roots, berries, and fish. The Spokane
Spokane (tribe)
The Spokane are a Native American people in the northeastern portion of the U.S. state of Washington. The Spokane Indian Reservation, at , is located in eastern Washington, almost entirely in Stevens County, but includes two very small parcels of land and part of the Spokane River in...

 tribe, after which the city is named, are believed to be either direct descendants of the original hunter-gatherers that settled in the region, or descendants of tribes from the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

. When asked by early white explorers, the tribe said their ancestors came from "up north". The Spokane Falls were the tribe's center of trade and fishing.

Early in the 19th century, the Northwest Fur Company sent two white fur trappers west of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 to search for fur. The trappers became the first two white men met by the Spokane tribe, who believed them to be Sama, or sacred, and set the trappers up in the Colville River
Colville River (Washington)
The Colville River is a 60 mile long tributary of the Columbia River in northeastern Washington in the United States.-Course:The Colville River begins in southern Stevens County, Washington at the confluence of Sheep Creek and Deer Creek. It flows northwest past Colville and into the Columbia...

 valley for the winter. The tribe discovered the men brought no "big magic" to the tribe as their members continued to die from small pox, which had first struck the tribe in an epidemic in 1782 and wiped out as much as half the tribe's pre-epidemic numbers.

Trading post

The Inland Northwest was first explored by explorer-geographer David Thompson
David Thompson (explorer)
David Thompson was an English-Canadian fur trader, surveyor, and map-maker, known to some native peoples as "Koo-Koo-Sint" or "the Stargazer"...

, working as head of the North West Company
North West Company
The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal from 1779 to 1821. It competed with increasing success against the Hudson's Bay Company in what was to become Western Canada...

's Columbia Department. Crossing what is now the U.S.–Canadian border from British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, Thompson wanted to expand the North West Company further south in search of furs, primarily beaver. After establishing the Kullyspell House
Kullyspell House
Kullyspell House was a fur trading post established in 1809 on Lake Pend Oreille in what is now North Idaho...

 and Saleesh House
Saleesh House
Saleesh House, also known as Flathead Post, was a North West Company fur trading post built near present-day Thompson Falls, Montana in 1809 by David Thompson and James McMillan of the North West Company. It became a Hudson's Bay Company post after that company absorbed the North West Company....

 trading posts in what is now Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

 and Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

, Thompson wanted to expand further west. In 1810, Thompson sent out trappers, Jacques Raphael Finlay and Finan McDonald to the Spokane River to build a trading post in eastern Washington that would exchange with the local Spokane and Colville Indians.

At the confluence of the Little Spokane
Little Spokane River
The Little Spokane River is a major tributary of the Spokane River, approximately 35 mi long, in eastern Washington in the United States. It drains a rural area of forested foothills and a farming valley north of the city of Spokane along the Idaho-Washington border.It rises in southern Pend...

 and Spokane
Spokane River
The Spokane River is a tributary of the Columbia River, approximately long, in northern Idaho and eastern Washington in the United States. It drains a low mountainous area east of the Columbia, passing through the city of Spokane, Washington.-Description:...

, Finlay and McDonald built a new fur trading post
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

, which was the first long-term European settlement in Washington state. This trading post known as the Spokane House
Spokane House
Spokane House was a fur trading post founded in 1810 by the British-Canadian North West Company under direction of David Thompson. The post was sited on a peninsula where the Spokane River and Little Spokane River meet. Today this site is in Spokane County in the U.S...

, or simply "Spokane", was in operation from 1810 to 1826. The Spokane House, operated by the British North West Company and, later, the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

, was the center of the fur trade between the Rockies and the Cascades for 16 years. When the Hudson's Bay Company absorbed the North West Company in 1821, operations at Spokane House eventually shifted to Fort Colville
Fort Colville
The trade center Fort Colville was built by the Hudson's Bay Company at Kettle Falls on the Columbia River, a few miles west of the present site of Colville, Washington in 1825, to replace Spokane House as a regional trading center, as the latter was deemed to be too far from the Columbia River...

; afterward the company still remained active near Spokane.

American settlement

Joint American–British occupation of Oregon Country
Oregon Country
The Oregon Country was a predominantly American term referring to a disputed ownership region of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The region was occupied by British and French Canadian fur traders from before 1810, and American settlers from the mid-1830s, with its coastal areas north from...

, in effect since the Treaty of 1818
Treaty of 1818
The Convention respecting fisheries, boundary and the restoration of slaves between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, also known as the London Convention, Anglo-American Convention of 1818, Convention of 1818, or simply the Treaty of 1818, was a...

, eventually led to the Oregon Boundary Dispute
Oregon boundary dispute
The Oregon boundary dispute, or the Oregon Question, arose as a result of competing British and American claims to the Pacific Northwest of North America in the first half of the 19th century. Both the United Kingdom and the United States had territorial and commercial aspirations in the region...

 as large influxes of American settlers began arriving by the Oregon Trail
Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail is a historic east-west wagon route that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon and locations in between.After 1840 steam-powered riverboats and steamboats traversing up and down the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers sped settlement and development in the flat...

. The dispute ended with the signing of the Oregon Treaty
Oregon Treaty
The Oregon Treaty is a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States that was signed on June 15, 1846, in Washington, D.C. The treaty brought an end to the Oregon boundary dispute by settling competing American and British claims to the Oregon Country, which had been jointly occupied by...

 in 1846 when Great Britain ceded all its claims to lands south of the 49th Parallel
49th parallel north
The 49th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 49 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

, the present day border with Canada.

The first American settlers, squatters J.J. Downing and S.R. Scranton, built a cabin and established a claim at Spokane Falls in 1871. Together they built a small sawmill on a claim near the south bank of the Spokane Falls. James N. Glover
James N. Glover
James Nettle Glover is considered the founding father of Spokane, Washington. In 1871 two squatters, James Downing and Seth Scranton, had built a sawmill at the south bank of the Spokane Falls on the Spokane River. Glover and his partner Jasper N...

 and Jasper Matheney, Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

ians passing through the region in 1873, recognized the value of the Spokane River and its falls. They realized the investment potential and bought the claims of 160 acre (0.6474976 km²) and the sawmill from Downing and Scranton for a total of $4,000. Glover and Matheney knew that the Northern Pacific Railroad Company had received a government charter to build a main line across this northern route. Glover later became known as the "Father of Spokane".

On October 21, 1880, Camp Spokane was established by U.S. Army troops under Lt. Col. Henry Clay Merriam at a location 56 miles (90.1 km) northwest of Spokane at the junction of the Columbia and Spokane Rivers. The camp location was strategic, having the intended goals of protecting construction of the Northern Pacific Railway and securing a place for U.S. settlement.

By 1881, the Northern Pacific Railway
Northern Pacific Railway
The Northern Pacific Railway was a railway that operated in the west along the Canadian border of the United States. Construction began in 1870 and the main line opened all the way from the Great Lakes to the Pacific when former president Ulysses S. Grant drove in the final "golden spike" in...

 was completed, bringing major European settlement to the area. The city of Spokan Falls (the "e" was added in 1883 and "Falls" dropped in 1891) was officially incorporated as a city of about 1,000 residents on November 29, 1881. The city's population ballooned to 19,922 in 1890, and 36,848 in 1900 with the arrival of the railroads. The railroad lured settlers from as far away as Finland, Germany, and England and as close as Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 and the Dakotas. By 1910, the population hit 104,000; the building of the Northern Pacific, allowed Spokane to eclipse Walla Walla
Walla Walla, Washington
Walla Walla is the largest city in and the county seat of Walla Walla County, Washington, United States. The population was 31,731 at the 2010 census...

 as the commercial center of the Inland Northwest.

Spokane's growth continued unabated until August 4, 1889, when a fire, now known as The Great Fire, began shortly after 6:00 p.m. and destroyed the city's downtown commercial district. Due to technical problems with a pump station, there was no water pressure in the city when the fire started. In an effort to impede the fire's growth, firefighters began demolishing buildings with dynamite. The fire continued despite this as the flames leaped over the cleared spaces and created their own firestorm. When volunteer firefighters attempted to quench the flames, they found their hoses were unusable. Eventually winds died down and the fire exhausted of its own accord. In the fires' aftermath, 32 blocks of Spokane's downtown were destroyed and one person was killed.

While the damage caused by the fire was a devastating blow, Spokane continued to grow; the fire set the stage for a dramatic building boom. After The Great Fire of 1889 and the rebuilding of the downtown, the city was reincorporated under the present name of "Spokane" in 1891. Just three years after the fire, in 1892, James J. Hill
James J. Hill
James Jerome Hill , was a Canadian-American railroad executive. He was the chief executive officer of a family of lines headed by the Great Northern Railway, which served a substantial area of the Upper Midwest, the northern Great Plains, and Pacific Northwest...

's Great Northern Railway had arrived in the newly created township of Hillyard
Hillyard, Spokane, Washington
Hillyard, Washington was a town in Spokane County, Washington which existed as a separate town between 1892 and 1924.The town came about due to the Great Northern Railway and was named for James J. Hill, then-head of the railroad. Between 1904 and 1912, many of the town's houses were built, to...

 (annexed by Spokane in 1924)—the chosen site for Hill's rail yards, machine shops, and roundhouse because of the area's flat ground. The railroads in Spokane made it a transportation hub for the Inland Northwest region. Spokane became an important rail and shipping center because of its location between mining and farming areas. After the arrival of the Northern Pacific, the Union Pacific
Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad , headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is the largest railroad network in the United States. James R. Young is president, CEO and Chairman....

, Great Northern, and Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific railroads, Spokane became one of the most important rail centers in the western United States.

20th century

Spokane is known as the "Birthplace of Father's Day
Father's Day
Father's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June but it is also celebrated widely on other days...

". A Spokane woman, Sonora Smart Dodd is credited with being the founder of the annual celebration. Sonora, often referred to as the "Mother of Father's Day", was 16 years old when her mother died, leaving her father to raise Sonora and her five younger brothers on a remote farm in eastern Washington. In 1909 when Sonora heard a Mother's Day
Mother's Day
Mother's Day is a celebration honoring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, yet most commonly in March, April, or May...

 sermon at Central United Methodist Church in Spokane, she was inspired to propose that fathers receive equal recognition. The following year Sonora took the idea to the Spokane YMCA
YMCA
The Young Men's Christian Association is a worldwide organization of more than 45 million members from 125 national federations affiliated through the World Alliance of YMCAs...

, who along with the Ministerial Alliance, endorsed Dodd's idea and helped it spread by celebrating the first Father's Day in 1910. Sonora suggested her father's birthday, June 5, be established as the day to honor all fathers. However, the pastors wanted more time to prepare, so June 19, 1910 was designated as the first Father's Day.

The expansion and growth of Spokane abruptly stopped in the 1910s and was followed by a period of population decline. Spokane's slowing economy largely contributed to this decline. Control of regional mines and resources became increasingly dominated by national corporations rather than locals, diverting capital outside of Spokane and decreasing growth and investment opportunities in the city. The 1920s and 1930s saw similar, but less drastic slow growth, also due to economic factors. The Inland Northwest region was heavily dependent on extractive products produced from farms, forests, and mines which experienced a fall in demand. Spokane's situation improved with the start of World War II as aluminum production was initiated in the Spokane valley due to the area's inexpensive electricity and the increased demand for airplanes.

After decades of stagnation and slow growth, Spokane businessmen, headed by King Cole, formed Spokane Unlimited, an organization that sought to revitalize downtown Spokane. After a bitter struggle, a hard earned success came in the form of a new parking garage in 1965. Soon, efforts to revitalize the economy focused on improving Havermale Island in downtown Spokane, which was dominated by railroad depots and warehouses. A recreation park showcasing the Spokane falls was the preferred option, and the organization successfully negotiated with the railroad companies to free up the island property and relocate their rail lines. In the 1970s, Spokane was approaching its one-hundredth birthday, and Spokane Unlimited hired a private firm to start preparations for a celebration and fair. In a report delivered by the firm, the proposal of a world's fair was introduced, which culminated in Expo '74
Expo '74
Expo '74 was an environmentally themed world's fair in Spokane, Washington that ran from 4 May to 3 November 1974.Expo '74, in proclaiming itself the first exposition on an environmental theme, distanced itself from the more techno-centric world's fairs of the sixties...

.

Spokane hosted the first environmentally
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

 themed World's Fair in Expo '74, becoming the smallest city yet to host a World's Fair. Expo '74 also had the distinction of being the first American fair after World War II to be attended by the Soviet Union. This event transformed Spokane's downtown, removing a century of railroad industry that built the city and reinvented the urban core. After Expo '74, the fairgrounds became the 100 acre (0.404686 km²) Riverfront Park. The late 1970s was a period of growth for Spokane which led to the construction in the early 1980s of the two tallest buildings in the city, the 18-story Farm Credit Banks Building and the 20-story Seafirst Financial Center, now the Bank of America building.

The success seen in the late 1970s and early 1980s once again was interrupted by another U.S. recession in which silver, timber, and farm prices dropped. Although a tough period, Spokane's economy had begun to benefit from economic diversification, being the home to growing companies such as Key Tronic
Key Tronic
Key Tronic is a computer equipment manufacturer founded in 1969. Its core product group includes keyboards, mice and other input devices. They are considered to be one of the pioneers in ergonomic keyboard design...

 and having research, marketing, and assembly plants for other technology companies helped lessen Spokane's dependency on natural resources.

21st century

Downtown Spokane has undergone a major rebirth in recent years with over $3 billion in new investments and the completion of River Park Square Mall. The historic, Kirtland Cutter
Kirtland Cutter
Kirtland Kelsey Cutter was a 20th century architect in the Pacific Northwest and California. He was born in East Rockport, Ohio, as the great-grandson of Jared Potter Kirtland. He studied painting and illustration at the Art Students League of New York. At the age of 26 he moved to Spokane,...

-designed Davenport Hotel underwent a major renovation in 2002 after being vacant for over 20 years. Other major projects include the renovation of the Holley Mason Building, the building of the Big Easy concert house (now renamed the Knitting Factory
Knitting Factory
The Knitting Factory is a music venue and concert house with locations in Brooklyn, Boise, Reno, and Spokane. The club originally specialized in jazz and experimental music and has expanded to showcasing all genres of music, performing arts and comedy....

), expansion of the Spokane Convention Center, and the renovation of the historic Montvale Hotel
Montvale Hotel
The Montvale Hotel is a boutique hotel in Spokane, Washington. Originally built in 1899 as an SRO , the Montvale Hotel also served Spokane as an apartment building, a brothel, and as a youth hostel during Expo '74 and then was abandoned for 30 years...

 and Fox Theater
Fox Theatre (Spokane)
The Fox Theater in Spokane, Washington is a 1931 Art Deco movie theater. It was designed by architect Robert C. Reamer, notable for his design of the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone Park. It was part of the Fox Film Corporation Empire founded by studio mogul William Fox...

 (now home to the Spokane Symphony
Spokane Symphony
The Spokane Symphony is a 70-piece orchestra based in Spokane, WA that performs more than 60 concerts per year for more than 150,000 listeners. It was originally incorporated in 1945 as the Spokane Philharmonic before being renamed the Spokane Symphony in 1962...

). Still more construction is proposed. Local developer Rob Brewster has proposed building the new VOX Tower which, if constructed, will become the tallest building in Spokane. All new skyscrapers built in Spokane are subject to city height restrictions.

The Kendall Yards development on the west side of downtown Spokane (along the north bank of the Spokane River) will become one of the largest construction projects in the city's history. The development, directly across the Spokane River from downtown will blend residential and retail space with plazas and walking trails. Upon completion, the nearly 80 acre (0.3237488 km²) Kendall Yards project will include up to 2,600 residential units and up to 1000000 square feet (92,903 m²) of commercial, retail, and office space.

In January 2011, an attempted terrorist attack
2011 Spokane bombing attempt
-Over view:On January 17, 2011, a radio-controlled, shaped pipe bomb was found and defused in Spokane, Washington along the route of that year's Martin Luther King Jr. memorial march...

 was thwarted in Spokane.

Topography

Spokane is located on the Spokane River
Spokane River
The Spokane River is a tributary of the Columbia River, approximately long, in northern Idaho and eastern Washington in the United States. It drains a low mountainous area east of the Columbia, passing through the city of Spokane, Washington.-Description:...

 in Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington is the portion of the U.S. state of Washington east of the Cascade Range. The region contains the city of Spokane , the Tri-Cities, the Columbia River and the Grand Coulee Dam, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the fertile farmlands of the Yakima Valley and the...

, near the eastern border of Washington, about 20 miles (32.2 km) from Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, 110 miles (177 km) south of the Canadian border and 280 miles (450.6 km) east of Seattle. Spokane is part of the Inland Northwest region, consisting of eastern Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

, and northeastern Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

. According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 58.5 square miles (151.5 km²), of which, 57.8 square miles (149.7 km²) is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km²) is water.

Spokane lies on the eastern edge of the Columbia Basin
Columbia Basin
The Columbia Basin, the drainage basin of the Columbia River, occupies a large area–about —of the Pacific Northwest region of North America. In common usage, the term often refers to a smaller area, generally the portion of the drainage basin that lies within eastern Washington.Usage of the term...

 steppe
Steppe
In physical geography, steppe is an ecoregion, in the montane grasslands and shrublands and temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biomes, characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes...

, a wide sloping plain that rises sharply to the east towards the forested Rocky Mountain
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 foothills
Foothills
Foothills are geographically defined as gradual increases in elevation at the base of a mountain range. They are a transition zone between plains and low relief hills to the adjacent topographically high mountains.-Examples:...

, the Selkirk Mountains
Selkirk Mountains
The Selkirk Mountains are a mountain range spanning the northern portion of the Idaho Panhandle, eastern Washington, and southeastern British Columbia. They begin at Mica Peak near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and extend approximately 320 km north from the border. The range is bounded on its west,...

. The city lies in a transition area between the desert-like Columbia Basin of central Washington and the forested mountains of north Idaho and northeast Washington. The highest peak in Spokane County is Mount Spokane
Mount Spokane
Mount Spokane is a mountain located northeast of Spokane, Washington. Its summit is the highest point in Spokane County, and it is one of the tallest peaks in the Inland Northwest...

 at an elevation of 5883 feet (1,793.1 m), located on the eastern side of the Selkirk Mountains. The most prominent water feature in the area is the Spokane River, a 111 miles (178.6 km) tributary of the Columbia River
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

, originating from Lake Coeur d'Alene
Lake Coeur d'Alene
Lake Coeur d'Alene is a natural lake in the Idaho Panhandle, located in the vicinity of the city of the same name. It spans long, ranges from 1 to wide and has over of shoreline for boaters and vacationers to explore and enjoy.-Geology and geography:...

 in northern Idaho. The river flows west across the Washington state line through downtown Spokane, meeting Latah Creek
Latah Creek
Latah Creek, also known as Hangman Creek, is a large stream in eastern Washington and north central Idaho in the United States. The creek flows northwest from the Rocky Mountains to Spokane, where it empties into the Spokane River...

 which comes from the south directly west of downtown, then turns to the northwest where it is joined by the Little Spokane River
Little Spokane River
The Little Spokane River is a major tributary of the Spokane River, approximately 35 mi long, in eastern Washington in the United States. It drains a rural area of forested foothills and a farming valley north of the city of Spokane along the Idaho-Washington border.It rises in southern Pend...

 on its way to join the Columbia River, north of Davenport
Davenport, Washington
Davenport is a city in Lincoln County, Washington, United States. The population was 1,734 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Lincoln County.-History:Davenport was first settled in 1880, and was named in 1882 for resident J.C. Davenport...

.

Spokane is at an elevation of 1843 feet (561.7 m) above sea level. The lowest elevation in the city of Spokane is the northernmost point of the Spokane River within city limits (in Riverside State Park
Riverside State Park
Riverside State Park is a park northwest of Spokane in Nine Mile Falls, Washington. At over , it is the second-largest state park in Washington. The park includes two campgrounds; one at the Bowl & Pitcher and the other at the Nine Mile Recreation area...

) at 1608 feet (490.1 m) and the highest elevation is on the northeast side near the community of Hillyard
Hillyard, Spokane, Washington
Hillyard, Washington was a town in Spokane County, Washington which existed as a separate town between 1892 and 1924.The town came about due to the Great Northern Railway and was named for James J. Hill, then-head of the railroad. Between 1904 and 1912, many of the town's houses were built, to...

, though closer to Beacon Hill and the North Hill Reservoir at 2591 feet (789.7 m).

Climate

Spokane has a Mediterranean continental climate (Köppen
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Dsb), a rare climate due to its elevation, and winter precipitation precluding a semi-arid climate classification. The area is typified by a very warm, arid climate during the summer months and a cold, at times snowy climate in the winter. Both summer and winter are the predominant seasons, as fall constitutes a rapid transition. All seasons have little humidity. The winter air is often very dry as well as the hot summer air. On average, July and August are equally warm, and the coolest month is December. Daily temperature ranges are large during the summer, approaching, and often exceeding 100 °F (37.8 °C), and small during the winter, with a range just above 10 F-change. December, the coolest month, averages 27.2 °F (-2.7 °C), while July and August, which are equally warm, average 68.6 °F (20.3 °C).

Because of Spokane's location between the Cascade Mountains to the west and Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 to the east and north, the city is protected from weather patterns experienced in other parts of the Pacific Northwest. The Cascade Mountains form a barrier to the easterly movement of moist and comparatively mild air from the Pacific Ocean in winter and cool air in summer keeping humidity almost non-existent. As a result of the modifying effect of the Cascade Mountains, the Spokane area also has less than half the rainfall of its west side neighbor, Seattle. The average annual precipitation in the Spokane area is 17 inches (431.8 mm), whereas the Seattle area receives 37 inches (939.8 mm) annually. The most precipitation occurs in December, and summer is the driest time of the year. The Rocky Mountains shield Spokane from the winter season's cold air masses traveling southward across Canada, sparing the city from the worst effects of Arctic air in winter.

Extremes range from 108 °F (42 °C) to -30 °F, but temperatures of more than 100 °F (38 °C) and less than -10 °F are rare.

Metropolitan area

Spokane is surrounded by many incorporated and unincorporated communities, which make up the suburbs of Spokane. They include Greenacres, Washington, Medical Lake, Cheney
Cheney, Washington
Cheney is a city in Spokane County, Washington, United States. The full time resident population was 10,590 as of 2010 census. Eastern Washington University is located in Cheney, and its population grows to approximately 17,600 people on a temporary basis when classes at Eastern Washington...

, Airway Heights
Airway Heights, Washington
Airway Heights is a city in Spokane County, Washington, United States, just west of Spokane. The population was 6,114 at the 2010 census. The city's name was taken from its close proximity to Fairchild Air Force Base and Spokane International Airport....

, Mead
Mead, Washington
Mead is an unincorporated suburb north of Spokane in Spokane County, Washington, United States. Named for Civil War general George Meade, this rural area is tracked by the United States Census Bureau. As of 2010, population of Mead was 7,275....

, Colbert
Colbert, Washington
Colbert is an unincorporated community in Spokane County, Washington, United States. The town is on U.S. Route 2.The ZIP Code is 99005 and centered at .Colbert has one store....

, Spokane Valley
Spokane Valley, Washington
Spokane Valley is an incorporated city in Spokane County, Washington, United States. It is located east of Spokane and west of Coeur d'Alene. It surrounds the town of Millwood on three sides...

, Millwood
Millwood, Washington
Millwood is a town in Spokane County, Washington, United States. The population was 1,786 at the 2010 census. Millwood is a suburb of Spokane, Washington, and is surrounded on three sides by the city of Spokane Valley, Washington.-History:...

, Nine Mile Falls
Nine Mile Falls, Washington
Nine Mile Falls is an unincorporated community in Spokane County, Washington, United States. It is located 9 mi from downtown Spokane, at the location of the former falls on the Spokane River. The Nine Mile Falls Dam was built by Spokane & Inland Empire Railroad on the site of the falls in...

, Otis Orchards
Otis Orchards-East Farms, Washington
Otis Orchards-East Farms is a census-designated place in Spokane County, Washington, United States, near the county's border with Idaho. The population was 6,220 at the 2010 census...

, and Liberty Lake
Liberty Lake, Washington
Liberty Lake is an incorporated city in Spokane County, Washington, United States, on the Idaho state line. Liberty Lake is a suburb of Spokane, Washington. Thus, it is situated between Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho...

. Across the border in Idaho are Coeur d'Alene
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Coeur d'Alene is the largest city and county seat of Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. It is the principal city of the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area. Coeur d'Alene has the second largest metropolitan area in the state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census the population of Coeur...

 which anchors the Idaho portion of the urban area, Hayden
Hayden, Idaho
Hayden is a city in Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. The population was 9,159 at the 2000 census.- History :Hayden was once called "Hayden village." In 1955, it was incorporated as Hayden City...

, Post Falls
Post Falls, Idaho
Post Falls is a city in Kootenai County, Idaho, United States near the Idaho state line between Spokane, Washington, and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The population was 17,247 at the 2000 census, and grew to 27,574 people by the 2010 census, making it Idaho's tenth largest city.-History:Post Falls is...

 and Rathdrum
Rathdrum, Idaho
Rathdrum is a city in Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. The population was 6,826 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Rathdrum is located at ....

.

Neighborhoods

Much of Spokane's history is reflected in its large variety of neighborhoods. Neighborhoods range from the Victorian-era style South Hill and Browne's Addition, to the Davenport Arts District of Downtown, to the more contemporary neighborhoods of North Spokane.

Spokane's neighborhoods are gaining attention for their history, as illustrated by the city being home to 18 recognized National Register Historical Districts, the most in any city in the state of Washington. More than 50% of Spokane's downtown is designated as historic, and makes up three separate National Register Historic Districts. In all, more than 1,300 individual properties on the National Register are located in Spokane County, 15 of which are districts.
Deer Park

Demographics

At the 2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates, 86.4% of the population was White, 3.1% Black or African American, 3.5% American Indian and Alaska Native, 3.7% Asian, 0.6% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 1.1% from some other race. 3.9% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 26.5% of the population had a Bachelor's degree or higher.

As of the 2000 census, there were 195,629 people, 81,512 households, and 47,276 families residing in 87,941 housing units at population density of 3,387 people per square mile (1,307.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.5% White
White American
White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

, 2.1% African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

, 1.8% Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, 2.3% Asian
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

 of any race were 3.0% of the population.

As of the 2010 Census the city had a population of 208,916 residents, making Spokane the 100th largest city in America.

Of the 81,512 households, 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.0% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the age distribution of the population shows 24.8% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 93 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,273, and the median income for a family was $41,316. Males had a median income of $31,676 versus $24,833 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $18,451. About 11.1% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.3% of those under the age of 18 and 9.6% of those ages 65 and older.

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives
Association of religion data archives
The Association of Religion Data Archives is a free source of online information related to American and international religion. Founded as the American Religion Data Archive in 1997, and online since 1998, the archive was initially targeted at researchers interested in American religion...

' 2000 Metro Area Membership Report, the denominational groups of the Spokane MSA are 43,397 Evangelical Protestant; 32,207 Mainline Protestant; 776 Orthodox; 57,187 Catholic; 17,351 Other; and 267,021 Unclaimed.

Economy

In 1883, gold and silver were discovered in the Inland Northwest; as a regional shipping center, the city furnished supplies to the miners who passed through on their way to mine in the Coeur d'Alene as well as the Colville and Kootenay districts. By the mid-1890s, high mining operations were underway in the region. The area is considered to be one of the most productive mining districts in North America. Natural resources have traditionally provided much of the economic activity for the Spokane area, a major center for the timber, agriculture, and mining industries in the region.

Finished wood products, metal refinery and fabrication, and food processing are among the leaders in manufacturing. Fortune 1000
Fortune 1000
Fortune 1000 is a reference to a list maintained by the American business magazine Fortune. The list is of the 1000 largest American companies, ranked on revenues alone...

 company, Potlatch Corporation, which operates as a real estate investment trust
Real estate investment trust
A real estate investment trust or REIT is a tax designation for a corporate entity investing in real estate. The purpose of this designation is to reduce or eliminate corporate tax. In return, REITs are required to distribute 90% of their taxable income into the hands of investors...

 (REIT) and owns and manages timberlands located in Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

, Idaho, Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, and Oregon, is headquartered in Spokane. The surrounding area, especially to the south, is a productive agricultural region known as the Palouse
Palouse
The Palouse is a region of the northwestern United States, encompassing parts of southeastern Washington, north central Idaho and, in some definitions, extending south into northeast Oregon. It is a major agricultural area, primarily producing wheat and legumes...

. A number of wineries
Washington Wine
Washington wine is wine produced from grape varieties grown in the U.S. state of Washington. Washington ranks second in the United States in the production of wine, behind only California. By 2006, the state had over of vineyards, a harvest of of grapes, and exports going to over 40 countries...

 and breweries also operate in the Spokane area.

Forestry and agribusiness continue to be important elements in the local economy, but Spokane's economy has diversified to encompass other industries, including the high-tech and biotech sectors. Signature Genomic Laboratories, a fast-growing genetics company, is headquartered in Spokane, and Itron
Itron
Itron Inc. is a provider of intelligent metering, data collection and utility software. It has nearly 8,000 utilities worldwide relying on their technology to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water...

, a producer of metering, data collection, and software products is headquartered in nearby Liberty Lake, Washington
Liberty Lake, Washington
Liberty Lake is an incorporated city in Spokane County, Washington, United States, on the Idaho state line. Liberty Lake is a suburb of Spokane, Washington. Thus, it is situated between Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho...

. Red Lion Hotels Corporation
Red Lion Hotels Corporation
Red Lion Hotels Corporation , formerly the WestCoast Hospitality until 2006, is a US corporation operating in the western United States and Canada through three subsidiaries: Red Lion Hotels, WestCoast Hotel Partners and TicketsWest.-History:...

 is also headquartered in the city. Companies have located or relocated to the Spokane area, drawn by the easy access to raw materials and lower operating costs, such as cheap hydroelectric power. Economic development in Spokane focuses on six industries: manufacturing, aerospace, health sciences, information technology, clean technology, and digital media. Spokane's downtown is the site of a 100-block wireless network—one of the largest of its kind in the country, which is seen as symbolic of its dedication to the development of technological opportunities and resources.

In 2000, the leading industries in Spokane for the employed population 16 years and older were educational services, health care, and social assistance, 23.8 percent, and retail trade, 12.7 percent. The health care industry is a large and increasingly important industry in Spokane; the city provides specialized care to many patients from the surrounding Inland Northwest and as far north as the Canadian border. Other industries include construction and mining, manufacturing, transportation, communication and networking utilities, finance, insurance, real estate, and government. Furthermore, all branches of the U.S. armed forces are represented in Spokane County. The largest military facility in the area is Fairchild Air Force Base
Fairchild Air Force Base
Fairchild Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located approximately southwest of Spokane, Washington.The host unit at Fairchild is the 92d Air Refueling Wing assigned to the Air Mobility Command's 15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force...

, where the 92d Air Refueling Wing (92 ARW) is stationed. Sizable companies with locations in the Spokane region include Cisco
Cisco
Cisco may refer to:Companies:*Cisco Systems, a computer networking company* Certis CISCO, corporatised entity of the former Commercial and Industrial Security Corporation in Singapore...

, F5 Networks
F5 Networks
F5 Networks, Inc. is a networking appliances company. It is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and has development and marketing offices worldwide. It originally manufactured and sold some of the very first load balancing products...

, Goodrich Corporation
Goodrich Corporation
The Goodrich Corporation , formerly the B.F. Goodrich Company, is an American aerospace manufacturing company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded in Akron, Ohio in 1870 as Goodrich, Tew & Co. by Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich. The company name was changed to the "B.F...

, Itron
Itron
Itron Inc. is a provider of intelligent metering, data collection and utility software. It has nearly 8,000 utilities worldwide relying on their technology to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water...

, Kaiser Aluminum
Kaiser Aluminum
Kaiser Aluminum is an American aluminum producer. The company was founded in 1946 by American industrialist Henry J. Kaiser. Kaiser entered the aluminum business by leasing, then purchasing three government-owned aluminum facilities in Washington state. These were the primary reduction plants at...

, Telect, and Triumph Composite Systems.

As the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest as well as southern British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

 and Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

, Spokane serves as a commercial, manufacturing, transportation, medical, shopping, and entertainment hub. The city is also the hub for the service industries, and the wholesale and retail trade center of the 80000 square miles (207,199 km²) Inland Northwest region. In ecclesiastical services, Spokane is the administrative seat for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane
Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane
The Diocese of Spokane is a diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. state of Washington. Headquartered in Spokane, the diocese encompasses Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Lincoln, Spokane, Adams, Whitman, Franklin, Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin Counties...

, Episcopal Diocese of Spokane
Episcopal Diocese of Spokane
The Episcopal Diocese of Spokane is a diocese of the Episcopal Church in eastern Washington and North Idaho, United States. Its office and cathedral seat are in Spokane, Washington. The current Bishop is the Right Reverend James Waggoner, Jr....

 and the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod (ELCA)
Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod (ELCA)
The Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod is a synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America . It encompasses congregations in the eastern portion of Washington state, Idaho and 2 congregations in western Wyoming, and supports congregational mission throughout this territory.On June 1999, The Rev....

 Due in part because Spokane is the largest city between Seattle and Minneapolis, and because it lies along the route to many regional attractions, tourism is on the rise in the area. Spokane can be a "base camp" for activities such as river rafting
Rafting
Rafting or white water rafting is a challenging recreational outdoor activity using an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on white water or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this...

, camping
Camping
Camping is an outdoor recreational activity. The participants leave urban areas, their home region, or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or several nights outdoors, usually at a campsite. Camping may involve the use of a tent, caravan, motorhome, cabin, a primitive structure, or no...

, and other activities in the region.

Culture

Life in Spokane is heavily influenced by its climate and geographical location. Spokane experiences a four-season climate, and is close in proximity to dozens of lakes and rivers for swimming, boating, rafting, and fishing, as well as mountains for skiing, hiking, and biking. Within a short drive from Spokane, visitors can find 76 lakes, 33 golf courses, 11 wineries, five ski resorts, five major national parks, the Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Up to deep, the canyon stretches for over as the river winds westward through the Cascade Range forming the boundary between the State of Washington to the north and Oregon to the south...

, and the Grand Coulee Dam
Grand Coulee Dam
Grand Coulee Dam is a gravity dam on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington built to produce hydroelectric power and provide irrigation. It was constructed between 1933 and 1942, originally with two power plants. A third power station was completed in 1974 to increase its energy...

. Glacier National Park is just four hours away from Spokane, and Mt. Rainier National Park and North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park is a U.S. National Park located in the state of Washington. The park is the largest of the three National Park Service units that comprise the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Several national wilderness areas and British Columbia parkland adjoin the...

 are four and a half hours away. Other national parks are less than an eight-hour drive away, including the United States' Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, is a national park located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho...

, and Canada's Banff National Park
Banff National Park
Banff National Park is Canada's oldest national park, established in 1885 in the Rocky Mountains. The park, located 110–180 kilometres west of Calgary in the province of Alberta, encompasses of mountainous terrain, with numerous glaciers and ice fields, dense coniferous forest, and alpine...

 and Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, spanning 10,878 km² . It is located in the province of Alberta, north of Banff National Park and west of the City of Edmonton. The park includes the glaciers of the Columbia Icefield, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls and...

.

Spokane is big enough to have many amenities of a larger city, but small enough to support annual events and traditions with a small town atmosphere. Spokane was awarded the All-America City Award
All-America City Award
The All-America City Award is given by the National Civic League annually to ten cities in the United States.The oldest community recognition program in the nation, the award recognizes communities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon...

 by the National Civic League
National Civic League
The National Civic League is an American non-profit organization that advocates for transparency, effectiveness, and openness in local government...

 in 1974 and 2004. The National Civic League is an organization which recognizes communities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results. There are several museums in the city, most notably the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, formerly the Cheney Cowles Museum, is located in Spokane, Washington's Browne's Addition. It is associated with the Smithsonian Institution and is accredited by the American Association of Museums....

 (MAC), a Smithsonian affiliate museum that houses a large collection of Native American artifacts as well as regional and national traveling art exhibits. Located in Browne's Addition amid the mansions of Spokane's late 19th-century golden age, the Museum is in a secluded setting a few blocks from the center of downtown.

Arts and theater

Spokane hosts a variety of visual and performing arts scenes. These attractions include a major civic theater as well as several smaller ones, the Spokane Symphony, a jazz orchestra, an opera house, and other musical venues. Spokane's local music scene however, is considered somewhat lacking by some, they have identified a need for a legitimate all-ages venue for music performances.

Spokane has a vibrant art scene. Spokane's two main Artwalk dates (the first Friday of February and October) attract large crowds to the art districts. Spokane's main art districts are located in the Davenport District, the Garland Business District, and East Sprague. The First Friday Artwalk, which occurs the first Friday of every month, is dedicated to local vendors and performers displaying art around Downtown. The Davenport District is also home to many art galleries as well as some of Spokane's main performing arts venues.

Spokane offers an array of musical performances catering to a variety of interests. The Spokane Symphony Orchestra
Spokane Symphony
The Spokane Symphony is a 70-piece orchestra based in Spokane, WA that performs more than 60 concerts per year for more than 150,000 listeners. It was originally incorporated in 1945 as the Spokane Philharmonic before being renamed the Spokane Symphony in 1962...

 presents a full season of classical music, and the Spokane Jazz Orchestra, a full season of jazz music. The Spokane Symphony is a non-profit organization that was originally incorporated as the Spokane Philharmonic in 1945. The Spokane Jazz Orchestra is a non-profit organization formed in 1962 that claims to be the nation's oldest, continually performing, professional, and community-supported 17-piece big band.

Theater is provided by Spokane's only resident professional company, Interplayers Ensemble. Theater is also provided by Spokane Civic Theatre
Spokane Civic Theatre
The Spokane Civic Theatre is a nationally recognized non-profit theatre located in Spokane, Washington. Incorporated in 1947, the theatre is one of the oldest community theatres in the country. The Executive Artistic Director, Yvonne A.K. Johnson, has led the theatre to a level of excellence that...

 and several amateur community theaters and smaller groups. Fox Theater, which has been restored to its original 1931 Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 state, is the home of the Spokane Symphony. The Metropolitan Performing Arts Center was restored in 1988 and renamed Bing Crosby Theater
Bing Crosby Theater
Bing Crosby Theater is a performing arts theater located in Spokane, Washington that was designed by theater architect Edwin W. Houghton. The theater was originally built in 1915 as an 800-seat movie theater called Clemmer Theater...

 in honor of Spokane native Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was an American singer and actor. Crosby's trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation....

 in 2006.

Parks and recreation

The Spokane area offers an abundance of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed in outlying natural areas that may cater to a variety of interests, including miles of hiking trails, many lakes for fishing and watersports, and numerous parks for sightseeing. In 1907, Spokane's board of park commissioners retained the services of the Olmsted Brothers
Olmsted Brothers
The Olmsted Brothers company was an influential landscape design firm in the United States, formed in 1898 by stepbrothers John Charles Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. .-History:...

 to draw up a plan for Spokane's parks. Much of Spokane's park land was acquired by the city prior to World War I, establishing the city early on as a leader among Western cities in the development of a city-wide park system. Today, Spokane has a system of over 75 parks totaling 3488 acres (14.1 km²). Some of the most notable parks in Spokane's extensive park system are Riverfront Park
Riverfront Park (Spokane)
Riverfront Park is a public park in downtown Spokane, Washington. The 100 acre park is located along the Spokane River, not far up from the Spokane Falls. It was created for Expo '74, a World's Fair event. The defining feature of the park is the Pavilion, which is marked by a metal frame and wire...

, Manito Park and Botanical Gardens
Manito Park and Botanical Gardens
Manito Park and Botanical Gardens is a public park with arboretum, botanical gardens, and conservatory, located at 17th Ave and Grand Blvd in Spokane, Washington, USA. It is open daily without charge.-History:...

, Riverside State Park
Riverside State Park
Riverside State Park is a park northwest of Spokane in Nine Mile Falls, Washington. At over , it is the second-largest state park in Washington. The park includes two campgrounds; one at the Bowl & Pitcher and the other at the Nine Mile Recreation area...

, Mount Spokane State Park
Mount Spokane
Mount Spokane is a mountain located northeast of Spokane, Washington. Its summit is the highest point in Spokane County, and it is one of the tallest peaks in the Inland Northwest...

, Saint Michael's Mission State Park
Mount Saint Michael
Mount Saint Michael is a traditional Catholic church in Spokane, Washington. It serves as the home of Saint Michael's Academy and as a parish center for traditionalist Catholics in the Spokane area. It is staffed by the priests, brothers and sisters of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen...

, the Bowl & Pitcher and the John A. Finch Arboretum
John A. Finch Arboretum
John A. Finch Arboretum is a public arboretum located at West 3404 Woodland Boulevard, Spokane, Washington, USA on Sunset Hill. It is open daily without charge....

.

Riverfront Park, created after Expo '74 and occupying the same site, is 100 acre (0.404686 km²) in downtown Spokane and the site of some of Spokane's largest events. The park has views of the Spokane Falls
Spokane Falls
Spokane Falls is the name of the series of waterfalls and dams on the Spokane River in downtown Spokane, Washington.The Indian name for the Spokane Falls was "Stluputqu", meaning "swift water". The falls was once the site of a large Spokane people village....

, and holds a number of civic attractions, including a Skyride that is a rebuilt gondola that carries visitors across the falls from high above the river gorge, a 5-story IMAX theater, and a small amusement park (which is converted into an ice-skating rink during the winter months) with numerous rides and concessions. The park is host to a full schedule of family entertainment and events such as the Bloomsday
Lilac Bloomsday Run
The Lilac Bloomsday Run, also known as Bloomsday, is an annual timed road race in Spokane, Washington, held on the first Sunday of every May since 1977. The course is 12 km long. The course starts in Downtown Spokane and heads northwest along the far west end of town, passes by Mukogowa Ft...

 Post-Race Celebration, Hoopfest
Hoopfest
Hoopfest is an annual 3on3 basketball tournament. Such an event can be held for several means. Examples are for a charity, physical activity, disease curement, and most commonly human spectation. The idea sees two even teams oppose each other in various games of basketball where the advancing teams...

, the IMAX
IMAX
IMAX is a motion picture film format and a set of proprietary cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems...

 Film Festival, Spokane Music Festival, Pig Out in the Park, Restaurant Fair, Pow Wow, First Night
First Night
First Night is an artistic and cultural celebration on New Year's Eve, taking place from afternoon until midnight. Some cities have all their events during the celebration outside, but some cities have events that are hosted indoors by organizations in the city, such as churches and theaters...

 Spokane, and outdoor concerts and other community activities. The park also includes the hand-carved Riverfront Park Looff carousel
Riverfront Park Carousel
The Riverfront Park Carousel, also known as the Looff Carousel and the Natatorium Park Carousel is a carousel in Spokane, Washington originally built in 1909 by Charles I. D. Looff. The carousel was a gift for Looff's daughter Emma Vogel and her husband Louis Vogel, who owned Natatorium Park in...

 created in 1909 by Charles I. D. Looff
Charles I. D. Looff
Charles I. D. Looff was a master carver and builder of hand-carved carousels and amusement rides in America. Looff built the first carousel at Coney Island in 1876. During his lifetime, he manufactured over 50 carousels,twelve amusements parks, several roller coasters and Ferris wheels, and built...

 as a wedding present for his daughter. The carousel still operates in Riverfront Park, where riders can participate in an old-time ring toss. The carousel continues to offer a free ride to the rider who grabs the brass ring. Riverfront Park also includes ample views of the Spokane falls as well as other water features of the Spokane River. Manito Park and Botanical Gardens, on Spokane's South Hill, has a duck pond, a central conservatory named in memory of Dr. David Gaiser, Duncan Gardens, a classical European Renaissance style garden, and the Nishinomiya Japanese Garden designed by Nagao Sakurai
Nagao Sakurai
- Notable designs :*Tea Garden, City of San Mateo.*Nishinomiya Japanese Garden, in the Manito Park and Botanical Gardens, Spokane, Washington, 1967*Zen Garden and area in front of Tea House, both within the Japanese Tea Garden of Golden Gate Park, in San Francisco...

. Riverside State Park, is a scenic park close to downtown that is a site for hiking, mountain biking, and rafting. The John A. Finch Arboretum, is a 57 acre (0.23067102 km²) public arboretum
Arboretum
An arboretum in a narrow sense is a collection of trees only. Related collections include a fruticetum , and a viticetum, a collection of vines. More commonly, today, an arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants intended at least partly for scientific study...

 featuring a variety of rare and native trees and wildlife.

During the summer months, the City of Spokane is served by six all-new neighborhood aquatic centers, including the Comstock Park Pool, long a Spokane fixture, with its historic bathhouse. In 2008, voters approved a $43 million bond which allowed for the complete reconstruction of the city's five swimming pools and the addition of a new facility near Shadle Park High School
Shadle Park High School
Shadle Park High School is a public secondary school located in Spokane, Washington. Founded in 1957, Shadle Park is part of Spokane Public Schools. As of 2003, Shadle Park has 1950 students.- Notable alumni :...

.

A more active way to see natural sites in the Spokane area include travelling the Spokane River Centennial Trail
Spokane River Centennial Trail
The Spokane River Centennial Trail is a paved trail in Washington for alternate transportation and recreational use. It extends from Sontag Park in Nine Mile Falls, Washington to the Washington/Idaho border. It passes through the cities of Spokane, Washington, Spokane Valley, Washington, Liberty...

, which features over 37 miles (59.5 km) of paved trails running along the Spokane River from Sontag Park in west Spokane to the east shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene
Lake Coeur d'Alene
Lake Coeur d'Alene is a natural lake in the Idaho Panhandle, located in the vicinity of the city of the same name. It spans long, ranges from 1 to wide and has over of shoreline for boaters and vacationers to explore and enjoy.-Geology and geography:...

 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. This trail continues on as the North Idaho Centennial Trail
North Idaho Centennial Trail
The North Idaho Centennial Trail is a paved trail in Idaho used for transportation and recreational activities. Extending from Higgens Point on the northeast side of Lake Coeur d'Alene, a popular place for bald eagle watchers in early winter, the trail follows the lake's north shoreline to the...

 in Idaho and is often used for alternative transportation and recreational use, such as running, walking, cycling, or skating.

In addition to the park system within the city, there are many natural areas where outdoors activities can be enjoyed close by. In the summer, one may visit Lake Coeur d'Alene
Lake Coeur d'Alene
Lake Coeur d'Alene is a natural lake in the Idaho Panhandle, located in the vicinity of the city of the same name. It spans long, ranges from 1 to wide and has over of shoreline for boaters and vacationers to explore and enjoy.-Geology and geography:...

, Lake Pend Oreille
Lake Pend Oreille
Lake Pend Oreille is a lake in the northern Idaho Panhandle, with a surface area of . It is 65 miles long, and 1,150 feet deep in some regions, making it the fifth deepest in the United States. It is fed by the Clark Fork River and the Pack River, and drains via the Pend Oreille River...

, Priest Lake
Priest Lake
Priest Lake, Idaho, United States is located in the northernmost portion of the Idaho Panhandle, 80 miles north of Spokane Washington, with the northern end of the lake extending to within 15 miles of the Canadian border. The primary lake, lower Priest is 19 miles long and over 300 feet deep...

, or one of the other nearby bodies of water. The Spokane area has 76 lakes and numerous rivers, where various water sports, fishing, camping, and rafting can take place. In the winter, the public has access to five ski resorts within a couple hours of the city, including Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho
Sandpoint, Idaho
Sandpoint is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Bonner County, Idaho, United States. Its population was 7,365 at the 2010 census.Sandpoint's major economic contributors include forest products and light manufacturing, tourism and recreation and government services...

, Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg, Idaho
Kellogg, Idaho
Kellogg is a city in the Silver Valley of Shoshone County, Idaho, United States, in the Idaho Panhandle region. The city lies near the Coeur d'Alene National Forest and about east-southeast of Coeur d'Alene along Interstate 90...

, Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area
Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area
Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area is a ski area at Lookout Pass in northern Idaho on the Montana border, 4 miles east of Mullan on Interstate 90. It has a summit elevation of 5650 feet on Runt Mountain with a vertical drop of 1150 feet on the northeast-facing slopes...

 in Mullan, Idaho
Mullan, Idaho
Mullan is a city located in a sheltered canyon of the Coeur d'Alene Mountains in Shoshone County in the northern part of the U.S. state of Idaho. The population was 840 at the 2000 census and decreased to 692 at the 2010 census. The city is in the east end of the Silver Valley mining district; the...

, and 49 Degrees North Ski Area
49 Degrees North Ski Area
49 Degrees North Mountain Resort is a ski resort located in Washington, United States, in the Northwest Rockies. The base elevation is with the peak at...

 in Chewelah, Washington
Chewelah, Washington
Chewelah is a city in Stevens County, Washington, United States. Chewelah was labeled Chiel-Charle-Mous on the 1897 U. S. Land Office Map. The population was 2,607 at the 2010 census which was a 19.3% increase over the 2000 census.-History:...

. The closest ski area is Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park
Mount Spokane
Mount Spokane is a mountain located northeast of Spokane, Washington. Its summit is the highest point in Spokane County, and it is one of the tallest peaks in the Inland Northwest...

, operated by a non-profit organization. Mt. Spokane has trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and dog sledding. During the non-winter months, hikers and mountain bikers may use the trails.

Events and activities

Spokane is home to annual events and attractions that draw people from the surrounding area. Every year in May, Spokane hosts the Lilac Festival, which features many events including the Armed Forces Torchlight Parade held the third Sunday of May. The Lilac Bloomsday Run
Lilac Bloomsday Run
The Lilac Bloomsday Run, also known as Bloomsday, is an annual timed road race in Spokane, Washington, held on the first Sunday of every May since 1977. The course is 12 km long. The course starts in Downtown Spokane and heads northwest along the far west end of town, passes by Mukogowa Ft...

, held on the first Sunday of each May, is a 7.46 miles (12 km) race for competitive runners, as well as walkers, that typically draws about 45,000 participants. Spokane Hoopfest
Spokane Hoopfest
Hoopfest is an annual outdoor 3-on-3 basketball tournament held in downtown Spokane, Washington.It is the largest event of its kind in the world, as it drew 27,876 players on 7,046 teams in 2011. It began in 1990 with 2,009 players on 512 teams, and has grown to over 6,700 participant teams...

 is the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world, as over 26,000 players participated in 2010.
It is estimated that around 200,000 people visit the 40 blocks of downtown that are blocked off by basketball courts during the weekend, nearly equaling the entire population of Spokane.
Film festivals held in Spokane include the Spokane International Film Festival and The Spokane Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Held every February, The Spokane International Film Festival is a small, juried festival that features documentaries and shorts from around the world. The Spokane Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, which is held every November, features contemporary, independent films of interest to the GLBT community. Also, The Garland Village Arts & Music Festival takes place the second Saturday every August.

Other notable events in Spokane include the Spokane Interstate Fair, Spokane Comic con, Japan Week, Get Lit!, and The Spokane Pride Parade. The Spokane Interstate Fair is held annually in September at the Fair and Expo Center which recently completed an $18 million dollar expansion. Japan Week is held in April and celebrates the sister-city relationship with Nishinomiya, Hyogo
Nishinomiya, Hyogo
is a city located in Hyōgo, Japan, between the cities of Ōsaka and Kōbe. On April 1, 2005, the city of Nishinomiya celebrated its 80th anniversary. It is best known as the home of Kōshien Stadium, where the Hanshin Tigers baseball team plays home games and where Japan's annual high school baseball...

, demonstrating the many commonalities shared between the two cities. Students from the Spokane campus of Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute
Mukogawa Women's University
is a private university located near Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo, Japan. The school was founded in 1939.The school has an international branch campus in Spokane, Washington, USA: Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute.-History:...

, Whitworth University, Gonzaga University, Spokane Falls and Spokane Community College organize an array of Japanese cultural events, in addition to a number of others that take place around the city. Get Lit! is an annual literary festival held each April for readers and writers sponsored by the Eastern Washington University Press. Get Lit! features author presentations, reading and writing workshops, panels, and author visitations to schools throughout the eastern Washington and northern Idaho area. The Spokane Pride Parade held each June draws gays, lesbians, and others in celebration of the value of diversity.

Sports

Spokane's professional sports teams include the Spokane Shock
Spokane Shock
The Spokane Shock is a professional arena football team of the Arena Football League from Spokane, Washington, USA. They play their home games at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena...

 (Arena Football League), Spokane Indians
Spokane Indians
The Spokane Indians are a minor league baseball team located in Spokane, Washington, United States. They are a Short-Season A classification team in the Northwest League and have been a farm team of the Texas Rangers since 2003. The Indians play home games at Avista Stadium...

 (Northwest League
Northwest League
The Northwest League of Professional Baseball is a Class A-Short Season minor baseball league. The league is the descendant of the Western International League which ran as a class B league from 1937-1951 and class A from 1952-1954...

), Spokane Chiefs
Spokane Chiefs
The Spokane Chiefs are a major junior ice hockey team that plays in the Western Hockey League based out of Spokane, Washington. The team plays its home games at the Spokane Arena. Their uniforms are similar to those of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. Spokane consistently ranks in the top 10 in the...

 (Western Hockey League
Western Hockey League
The Western Hockey League is a major junior ice hockey league based in Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. The WHL is one of three leagues that constitute the Canadian Hockey League as the highest level of junior hockey in Canada...

), and the Spokane Black Widows
Spokane Black Widows
Spokane Black Widows were an American soccer team based in Spokane, Washington, United States. Founded in 2010, the team played in the Women's Premier Soccer League , the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the North Division of the Pacific Conference.The team played its home games at...

 (Women's Premier Soccer League
Women's Premier Soccer League
The Women's Premier Soccer League is a national women's soccer league in the United States and Puerto Rico, and is on the 2nd level of women's soccer in the United States soccer pyramid, alongside the W-League and below Women's Professional Soccer....

).

Collegiate sports in Spokane focus on the local teams such as the Gonzaga
Gonzaga University
Gonzaga University is a private Roman Catholic university located in Spokane, Washington, United States. Founded in 1887 by the Society of Jesus, it is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and is named after the young Jesuit saint, Aloysius Gonzaga...

 Bulldogs
Gonzaga Bulldogs
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are the athletic teams at Gonzaga University; the term applies to any of the school's varsity teams. Gonzaga University is a member of the West Coast Conference, which participates in the NCAA Division I...

 that compete in the West Coast Conference
West Coast Conference
The West Coast Conference is an NCAA collegiate athletics conference consisting of nine member schools across the states of California, Oregon, Utah and Washington....

 (WCC) as well as other regional teams including the Washington State
Washington State University
Washington State University is a public research university based in Pullman, Washington, in the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1890, WSU is the state's original and largest land-grant university...

 Cougars
Washington State Cougars
The Washington State Cougars are the athletic teams at Washington State University; the term applies to any of the school's varsity teams. Washington State University is a member of the Pacific-12 Conference, which participates in the NCAA Division I...

, Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington University
Eastern Washington University is an American public, coeducational university located in Cheney, Washington.Founded in 1882, the university is academically divided into four colleges: Arts and Letters; Business and Public Administration; Science, Health and Engineering; and Social & Behavioral...

 Eagles
Eastern Washington Eagles
The Eastern Washington Eagles are the intercollegiate varsity athletic teams of Eastern Washington University, located in Cheney, Washington. The athletic program comprises five men's sports: basketball, cross country, football, tennis, and track and field, and seven women's sports: basketball,...

, and the Idaho
University of Idaho
The University of Idaho is the State of Idaho's flagship and oldest public university, located in the rural city of Moscow in Latah County in the northern portion of the state...

 Vandals
Idaho Vandals
The Idaho Vandals are the intercollegiate athletic teams of the University of Idaho. They participate in NCAA Division I - FBS in the Western Athletic Conference ....

.

In 1995, the Spokane Public Facilities District
Spokane Public Facilities District
The Spokane Public Facilities District is the organization in Spokane, Washington that manages the Spokane Arena and Spokane Center, which consists of the Spokane Convention Center and the INB Performing Arts Center. It was created in 1989 by the Washington State Legislature to create a plan to...

 opened Spokane's premier sports venue, the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena a multi-purpose arena, located in Spokane, Washington, USA.It is home to the Spokane Chiefs, of the WHL and the Spokane Shock, of the AFL.-Construction:...

 to replace the aging Spokane Coliseum
Spokane Coliseum
Spokane Coliseum was an indoor arena, located in Spokane, Washington. It opened in 1954 and had a capacity of 5,400.It was host to a number of teams, including the Spokane Chiefs, of the WHL...

. In the years since the Spokane Arena opened, it along with the city of Spokane have played host to several major sporting events. The first major event was the 1998 Memorial Cup
1998 Memorial Cup
The 1998 Memorial Cup occurred May 9-17 at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Washington. Participating teams were the host Spokane Chiefs and the winners of the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League which were the Guelph Storm, Val-d'Or...

, the championship game of the Canadian Hockey League
Canadian Hockey League
The Canadian Hockey League is an umbrella organization that represents the three Canadian-based major junior ice hockey leagues for players 16 to 20 years of age. The CHL was founded in 1975 as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League, and is composed of its three member leagues, the Western Hockey...

. Four years later in 2002, Spokane hosted the 2002 Skate America
2002 Skate America
Skate America is an international, senior-level invitation-only figure skating competition organized by the USFSA. It is the first ISU Grand Prix event to be held. The location changes yearly...

 figure skating competition, as well as the first two rounds of NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament. The Spokane Arena is the perennial host to the State 2B Basketball Championships, which brings athletes and fans from across Washington to Spokane.

Spokane hosted the 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in the Spokane Arena. The event set an attendance record, selling nearly 155,000 tickets and was later named the "Sports Event of the Year" by Sports Travel Magazine, beating out events such as Super Bowl XLI
Super Bowl XLI
Super Bowl XLI was an American football game that featured the American Football Conference champion Indianapolis Colts and the National Football Conference champion Chicago Bears to decide the National Football League champion for the 2006 season...

. Fans, analysts and athletes, including Ice Dancing champion Tanith Belbin
Tanith Belbin
Tanith Jessica Louise Belbin is a Canadian-American ice dancer. Though born in Canada, she holds dual citizenship and has competed for the United States since she began skating with Benjamin Agosto in 1998. With Agosto, Belbin is the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, four-time World medalist,...

, spoke highly of the city's performance as host, which included large, supportive crowds. Spokane once again hosted the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships—ending eighteen days before the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics
2010 Winter Olympics
The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, were a major international multi-sport event held from February 12–28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the suburbs of Richmond, West Vancouver and the University...

 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Club Sport League Venue
Spokane Shock
Spokane Shock
The Spokane Shock is a professional arena football team of the Arena Football League from Spokane, Washington, USA. They play their home games at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena...

Arena Football
Arena football
Arena football is a variety of gridiron football played by the Arena Football League . It is a proprietary game, the rights to which are owned by Gridiron Enterprises, and is played indoors on a smaller field than American or Canadian outdoor football, resulting in a faster and higher-scoring game....

Arena Football League Spokane Arena
Spokane Indians
Spokane Indians
The Spokane Indians are a minor league baseball team located in Spokane, Washington, United States. They are a Short-Season A classification team in the Northwest League and have been a farm team of the Texas Rangers since 2003. The Indians play home games at Avista Stadium...

Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

Northwest League
Northwest League
The Northwest League of Professional Baseball is a Class A-Short Season minor baseball league. The league is the descendant of the Western International League which ran as a class B league from 1937-1951 and class A from 1952-1954...

 (Eastern Division)
Avista Stadium
Avista Stadium
Avista Stadium is a ballpark located in Spokane Valley, Washington, United States. It is primarily used for baseball, and is the home field of the Spokane Indians minor league baseball team, a Class A short-season affiliate of the Texas Rangers...

Spokane Chiefs
Spokane Chiefs
The Spokane Chiefs are a major junior ice hockey team that plays in the Western Hockey League based out of Spokane, Washington. The team plays its home games at the Spokane Arena. Their uniforms are similar to those of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. Spokane consistently ranks in the top 10 in the...

Ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

Western Hockey League
Western Hockey League
The Western Hockey League is a major junior ice hockey league based in Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. The WHL is one of three leagues that constitute the Canadian Hockey League as the highest level of junior hockey in Canada...

 (U.S. Division)
Spokane Arena
Spokane Black Widows
Spokane Black Widows
Spokane Black Widows were an American soccer team based in Spokane, Washington, United States. Founded in 2010, the team played in the Women's Premier Soccer League , the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the North Division of the Pacific Conference.The team played its home games at...

Soccer Women's Premier Soccer League
Women's Premier Soccer League
The Women's Premier Soccer League is a national women's soccer league in the United States and Puerto Rico, and is on the 2nd level of women's soccer in the United States soccer pyramid, alongside the W-League and below Women's Professional Soccer....

 (Pacific - North Division)
Joe Albi Stadium
Joe Albi Stadium
Joe Albi Stadium is an outdoor athletic stadium in Spokane, Washington. Primarily used for football, it is located in the northwest part of the city, just east of the Spokane River. It opened in 1950 as "Memorial Stadium," with a natural grass field, cinder running track, and a seating capacity of...


Speedball

The game which is popularly played in American P.E.
Physical education
Physical education or gymnastics is a course taken during primary and secondary education that encourages psychomotor learning in a play or movement exploration setting....

 classes, speedball, was invented at Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane. It was invented by the L&C gym department in the late 1970s and remained popular ever since. Lewis and Clark now has an interscholastic speedball team which competes against many other Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Coeur d'Alene is the largest city and county seat of Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. It is the principal city of the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area. Coeur d'Alene has the second largest metropolitan area in the state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census the population of Coeur...

 area teams. Lewis and Clark has a huge speedball rivalry with Gonzaga Preparatory School, also in Spokane. Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

 enjoyed many speedball matches at Gonzaga with staff during the days before his concert there on March 20, 2000. McCartney rallied passionately and tirelessly for speedball to be played at the 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events...

 in Beijing, but was unsuccessful.

There is a Speedball Hall of Fame located across the street from Lewis and Clark High School, off of exit 280 of Interstate 90
Interstate 90
Interstate 90 is the longest Interstate Highway in the United States at . It is the northernmost coast-to-coast interstate, and parallels US 20 for the most part. Its western terminus is in Seattle, at Edgar Martinez Drive S. near Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field, and its eastern terminus is in...

.

Media

Spokane is served by a variety of print media. Newspaper service includes its only major daily newspaper, The Spokesman-Review, as well as other more specialized publications including the weekly alternative newspaper, The Pacific Northwest Inlander
The Pacific Northwest Inlander
The Pacific Northwest Inlander is a free weekly newspaper published in Spokane, Washington and circulated throughout the Inland Northwest, covering local news and culture. It is published in print and online every Thursday. A member of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, it was founded in...

, the bi-weekly business journal, The Spokane Journal of Business, a monthly newspaper for parents, Kids newspaper
Kids Newspaper
Kids Newspaper is a non-profit, free monthly newspaper published in Spokane, Washington. Circulated through elementary schools at the beginning of each school month, Kids Newspaper focuses on supporting the parent-child relationship in an effort to build a stronger community...

, the monthly GLBT newsmagazine, Q View Northwest, a monthly outdoor activities paper, Out There Monthly, and the monthly paper covering the Garland neighborhood, The Garland Times.

Spokane also has several community magazines. Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living is a monthly home and lifestyle magazine, The Spokane Sidekick is a bi-weekly arts & entertainment guide, The Word is a monthly humor publication, HomeTeam Sports is a tabloid dedicated to local sports in the area, and The Family Guide is an annual publication distributed through the Spokane and Coeur d' Alene grade schools that contains resources to celebrate and strengthen family life in the Inland Northwest. There are also several online media magazines for Spokane and the surrounding area.

According to Arbitron
Arbitron
Arbitron is a consumer research company in the United States that collects listener data on radio audiences. It was founded as American Research Bureau by Jim Seiler in 1949 and became national by merging with L.A. based Coffin, Cooper and Clay in the early 1950s...

, Spokane is the 92nd largest radio market in the United States with 502,600 listeners aged 12 and over. Twenty-eight AM and FM radio stations broadcast in Spokane. Spokane has one low power (LPFM) community radio station — KYRS-LP. KYRS serves the Spokane area with progressive perspectives, providing programming to diverse communities and unserved or under-served groups.

Spokane is the 75th largest television market in the United States, accounting for 0.364% of the total TV households in the United States. Spokane has six television stations representing the major commercial networks and public television. The city is the television broadcast center for much of eastern Washington (except the Yakima and Tri-Cities
Tri-Cities, Washington
The Tri-Cities is a mid-sized metropolitan area in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Washington, consisting of three neighboring cities: Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland. The cities are located at the confluence of the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia rivers in the semi-arid region of...

 area), north Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, northwestern Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

, northeastern Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, and parts of Canada (by cable television
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

). Spokane receives broadcasts in the Pacific Time Zone
Pacific Time Zone
The Pacific Time Zone observes standard time by subtracting eight hours from Coordinated Universal Time . The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time of the 120th meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory. During daylight saving time, its time offset is UTC-7.In the United States...

, with weekday prime time
Prime time
Prime time or primetime is the block of broadcast programming during the middle of the evening for television programing.The term prime time is often defined in terms of a fixed time period—for example, from 19:00 to 22:00 or 20:00 to 23:00 Prime time or primetime is the block of broadcast...

 beginning at 8 pm. Montana and Alberta, Canada are in the Mountain Time Zone
Mountain Time Zone
The Mountain Time Zone of North America keeps time by subtracting seven hours from Coordinated Universal Time, also known as Greenwich Mean Time, during the shortest days of autumn and winter , and by subtracting six hours during daylight saving time in the spring, summer, and early autumn...

 and receive Spokane broadcasts one hour later by their local time (i.e. weekday prime time begins at 7 pm for local stations in Montana, and at 9 pm for stations received from Spokane). The major network television affiliates include KREM (TV) 2 (CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

), KXLY-TV
KXLY-TV
KXLY-TV, virtual channel 4, is an ABC-affiliated television station in Spokane, Washington, USA. KXLY-TV is owned by Spokane Television Group, a subsidiary of Morgan Murphy Media, it is one of five local Spokane TV stations seen in Canada on the Shaw Direct satellite provider.-History:Although KHQ...

 4 (ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

), KHQ-TV
KHQ-TV
KHQ-TV, virtual channel 6, is the NBC affiliate for Spokane, Washington. It broadcasts its digital signal on UHF channel 15. The station is owned by The KHQ Television Group, a subsidiary of Cowles Publishing Company, which owns The Spokesman-Review newspaper...

 6 (NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

) (Spokane's first television station, signing on the air on December 20, 1952), KSPS-TV
KSPS-TV
KSPS-TV, digital channel 7, is the Public Broadcasting Service Public television station in Spokane, Washington. It also has significant viewership in the province of Alberta, Canada, including the cities of Edmonton and Calgary. The station broadcasts its main signal from its site at Krell Hill,...

 7 (PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

), KXMN-LP
KXMN-LP
KXMN-LP, channel 11 , is the MyNetworkTV station in Spokane, Washington. KXMN-LP is owned by Morgan Murphy Media, and is the sister station of KXLY-TV...

 11 (MNTV
MyNetworkTV
MyNetworkTV is a television broadcast syndication service in the United States, owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a division of News Corporation...

), KSKN-TV 22 (CW
The CW Television Network
The CW Television Network is a television network in the United States launched at the beginning of the 2006–2007 television season. It is a joint venture between CBS Corporation, the former owners of United Paramount Network , and Time Warner's Warner Bros., former majority owner of The WB...

), KCDT-TV 26 (PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 operating out of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Coeur d'Alene is the largest city and county seat of Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. It is the principal city of the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area. Coeur d'Alene has the second largest metropolitan area in the state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census the population of Coeur...

), KAYU
KAYU-TV
KAYU-TV, channel 28, is the Fox-affiliated television station for Spokane, Washington, owned and operated by Mountain Broadcasting, LLC, a division of Northwest Broadcasting Company.-History:...

 28 (Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

), KGPX-TV 34 (ION), KQUP
KQUP
KQUP is an Daystar Television Network affiliate licensed to Pullman, Washington, serving the Spokane, Washington area. KQUP is owned by the Daystar Television Network.-Station history:...

 47LP (RTN
Retro Television Network
The Retro Television Network is a system of television stations that airs classic television shows as well as more recently produced programs...

) (translator for ch. 24 in Pullman, Washington
Pullman, Washington
Pullman is the largest city in Whitman County, Washington, United States. The population was 24,675 at the 2000 census and 29,799 according to the 2010 census...

), K55EB 55 (TBN
Trinity Broadcasting Network
The Trinity Broadcasting Network is a major American Christian television network. TBN is based in Costa Mesa, California, with auxiliary studio facilities in Irving, Texas; Hendersonville, Tennessee; Gadsden, Alabama; Decatur, Georgia; Miami, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Orlando, Florida; and New...

) (a translator for KTBN) and KHBA-LP
KHBA-LP
KHBA-LD is a low-power television station in Spokane Washington, broadcasting locally on UHF channel 39 as an affiliate of 3ABN. Founded June 1, 1992, the station is owned by He's Alive Broadcasting Association and broadcasts from a transmitter located atop Krell Ridge, southeast of...

 39.1-4.

Government and politics

The City of Spokane operates under a Mayor-Council
Mayor-council government
The mayor–council government system, sometimes called the mayor–commission government system, is one of the two most common forms of local government for municipalities...

 form of government, also referred to as a "Strong Mayor". Spokane switched to a Strong Mayor system in January 2001, after 40 years of running under a Council-Manager system. Spokane passed the initiative changing the form of government in November 1999. Under the Strong Mayor form of government, there are two distinct branches of government: the Executive (Mayor) and the Legislative (City Council). The City Council sets the policy direction for the city. The Mayor, as the Chief Executive Officer
Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...

 for the City of Spokane, is in charge of operating city government and implementing the policies developed by the City Council.

Other key elected members in the government are the seven members of the Spokane City Council (two elected from each of three districts, plus a President
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

 elected through a city-wide vote), who make up the legislative branch of the city's government. In addition to setting policy, the City Council passes ordinances, and guides the city through legislative efforts.

The current mayor of Spokane is Mary Verner
Mary Verner
Mary Verner is the current mayor of Spokane, Washington.- Education :Originally from Fitzgerald, Georgia, Verner received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Davidson College, earned her Master of Arts degree in environmental management from Yale University, and a law degree from...

; she became mayor on November 27, 2007, replacing Dennis P. Hession
Dennis P. Hession
Dennis P. Hession , an attorney, and Adjunct Professor of Law at Gonzaga University School of Law, was the appointed mayor of Spokane, Washington for nearly two years. He became mayor pro tem on December 16, 2005, when a special election to recall Mayor James E. West was certified...

, who conceded on November 9, 2007. Hession was sworn in on January 3, 2006, after the recall of Jim West
James E. West (politician)
James Elton "Jim" West was an American politician. In 2005, while Mayor of Spokane, Washington, he was the target of allegations of the sexual abuse of boys twenty years earlier. These allegations became public after West became a target of a sting operation conducted by his hometown newspaper,...

.
Federally, Spokane is part of Washington's 5th congressional district
Washington's 5th congressional district
Washington's 5th congressional district encompasses the Eastern Washington counties of Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Lincoln, Spokane, Adams, Whitman, Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield, and Asotin. It is centered around Spokane, the state's second largest city.Since 2005, the 5th District...

, represented by Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers, elected in 2004. The state's senior member of the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 is Democrat Patty Murray
Patty Murray
Patricia Lynn "Patty" Murray is the senior United States Senator from Washington and a member of the Democratic Party. Murray was first elected to the Senate in 1992, becoming Washington's first female senator...

, elected in 1992. The state's junior member of the United States Senate is Democrat Maria Cantwell
Maria Cantwell
Maria E. Cantwell is the junior United States Senator from the state of Washington and a member of the Democratic Party....

, elected in 2000. The Governor of Washington is Democrat Christine Gregoire
Christine Gregoire
Christine O'Grady "Chris" Gregoire is the 22nd and current Governor of the state of Washington, and a member of the Democratic Party. Gregoire defeated Republican candidate Dino Rossi in 2004, and again in 2008. She is the second female governor of Washington...

, elected in 2004.

The City of Spokane favored Barack Obama over John McCain by 60%-37%. Former Democratic Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tom Foley
Tom Foley
Thomas Stephen Foley was the 57th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1989 to 1995. He represented Washington's 5th congressional district for 30 years as a Democratic member from 1965 to 1995....

 served as a representative of Washington's 5th district for 30 years, enjoying large support from Spokane, until his defeat in the "Republican Revolution
Republican Revolution
The Republican Revolution or Revolution of '94 is what the media dubbed Republican Party success in the 1994 U.S. midterm elections, which resulted in a net gain of 54 seats in the House of Representatives, and a pickup of eight seats in the Senate...

" of 1994. This was the first and only time United States voters have turned out a sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives. The city elected James Everett Chase
James Everett Chase
James Everett Chase was an American politician. He was elected mayor of Spokane, Washington by a landslide 62 percent to 38 percent margin in 1981, becoming Spokane's first African American mayor...

 as its first African-American mayor in 1981, and after his retirement, electing the city's first woman mayor, Vicki McNeil.

Education

Serving the general educational needs of the local population are two public library districts, the Spokane Public Library (within city limits) and the Spokane County Library District. Founded in 1904 with funding from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, businessman, and entrepreneur who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century...

, the Spokane Public Library system comprises a downtown library overlooking Spokane Falls and 6 branch libraries. Special collections include Northwest history, genealogy, Washington state, and Spokane County government documents.

Spokane Public Schools
Spokane Public Schools
Spokane Public Schools is a public school district in Spokane County, Washington, and serves the city of Spokane.In May 2011, the district had an enrollment of 28,788....

 (District 81) is the largest public school system in Spokane and the second largest in the state, serving roughly 30,000 students in 6 high schools, 6 middle schools, and 34 elementary schools. Other public school districts in Spokane include the Central Valley School District
Central Valley School District
Central Valley School District No. 356 is a K-12 public school district located in Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake, Washington. Over 12,000 students attend its 22 schools....

, Mead School District
Mead School District
Mead School District No. 354 is a public school district located north of Spokane, Washington. Over 9,000 students attend the 14 schools in the district which consists of 2 high schools, an alternative high school, 2 middle schools, 8 elementary schools, and the Five Mile School House. The...

, and West Valley School District. A variety of state-approved private elementary and secondary schools augment the public school system.

Spokane is home to many higher education institutions. They include the private universities, Gonzaga
Gonzaga University
Gonzaga University is a private Roman Catholic university located in Spokane, Washington, United States. Founded in 1887 by the Society of Jesus, it is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and is named after the young Jesuit saint, Aloysius Gonzaga...

 and Whitworth
Whitworth University
Whitworth University is a private Christian liberal arts college located in Spokane, Washington, United States, that offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees in a variety of academic disciplines. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church...

, and the public Community Colleges of Spokane
Community Colleges of Spokane
Community Colleges of Spokane is a community college district based in Spokane, Washington, USA. Founded in 1963, CCS serves some 38,600 students a year, spread across a service district in Eastern Washington. It comprises Spokane Community College, Spokane Falls Community College and the...

 system as well as an ITT Tech and University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix is a for-profit institution of higher learning. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Group Inc. which is publicly traded , an S&P 500 corporation based in Phoenix, Arizona...

 campus. Gonzaga University and Law School was founded by the Jesuits in 1887. Whitworth was founded in 1890 and is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The Presbyterian Church , or PC, is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination in the United States. Part of the Reformed tradition, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S...

. While Spokane is one of the larger cities in the United States to lack a main campus of a state-supported university within its city limits, Eastern Washington University
Eastern Washington University
Eastern Washington University is an American public, coeducational university located in Cheney, Washington.Founded in 1882, the university is academically divided into four colleges: Arts and Letters; Business and Public Administration; Science, Health and Engineering; and Social & Behavioral...

 (EWU) and Washington State University
Washington State University
Washington State University is a public research university based in Pullman, Washington, in the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1890, WSU is the state's original and largest land-grant university...

 (WSU) have operations at the Riverpoint Campus
Riverpoint Campus
Riverpoint Campus is an educational facility located near downtown Spokane, Washington in the United States. The campus houses facilities of five institutions: the Washington State University Spokane , Eastern Washington University, extensions of the medical and dental schools at the University of...

, just adjacent to downtown and across the Spokane River from the Gonzaga campus. The main EWU campus is located 15 miles (24.1 km) southwest of Spokane in nearby Cheney
Cheney, Washington
Cheney is a city in Spokane County, Washington, United States. The full time resident population was 10,590 as of 2010 census. Eastern Washington University is located in Cheney, and its population grows to approximately 17,600 people on a temporary basis when classes at Eastern Washington...

, and WSU is located 65 miles (104.6 km) to the south in Pullman
Pullman, Washington
Pullman is the largest city in Whitman County, Washington, United States. The population was 24,675 at the 2000 census and 29,799 according to the 2010 census...

.

Infrastructure

Healthcare

Spokane is the hub for medical services in the Inland Northwest. Six major hospitals are located in Spokane, four of which are full service facilities. The region's healthcare needs are served primarily by non-profit Seattle-based Providence Health & Services and for-profit Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

-based Community Health Systems
Community Health Systems
Community Health Systems Inc. is a Fortune 500 company based in Franklin, Tennessee. It is the largest non-urban provider of general hospital healthcare services in the United States in terms of number of acute care facilities. As of May 2009, it operates 120 hospitals in 28 states. After...

, who run the two biggest hospitals in Spokane, Sacred Heart Medical Center (Spokane)
Sacred Heart Medical Center (Spokane)
With 628 beds, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the Inland Empire, employing more than 4,000 health care professionals and support staff...

, and Deaconess Medical Center, respectively. The two hospitals, along with a majority of Spokane's major health care facilities are located on Spokane's Lower-South Hill, just south of downtown. The close proximity of the hospitals, doctors' offices, and specialized clinics scattered around this area, form what is known as the "Medical District" of Spokane.

Other hospitals in the area include the Spokane Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the northwest part of town, Holy Family Hospital on the north side, and Valley Hospital and Medical Center in Spokane Valley
Spokane Valley, Washington
Spokane Valley is an incorporated city in Spokane County, Washington, United States. It is located east of Spokane and west of Coeur d'Alene. It surrounds the town of Millwood on three sides...

. One of the twenty Shriners Hospitals in the United States is also located in Spokane.

Roads and highways

Spokane's streets use a street grid that is oriented to the four cardinal direction
Cardinal direction
The four cardinal directions or cardinal points are the directions of north, east, south, and west, commonly denoted by their initials: N, E, S, W. East and west are at right angles to north and south, with east being in the direction of rotation and west being directly opposite. Intermediate...

s. Generally in Spokane, the east-west roads are designated as avenues, and the north-south roads are referred to as streets. Major east-west thoroughfares in the city include Francis, Wellesley, Mission, Sprague, and 29th avenues. Major north-south thoroughfares include Maple-Ash, Monroe, Division, Hamilton, Greene-Market (north of I-90), and Ray-Freya (south of I-90). With over 40,000 vehicles per day ADT from Interstate 90 north to the US 2 - US 395 junction, North Division is Spokane's busiest corridor.

Spokane is primarily served by Interstate 90, which runs east-west from Seattle, through downtown Spokane, and eastward through Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, and onward to Coeur d'Alene. Although they are not limited access highways like I-90, US 2 and US 395 enter Spokane from the west via I-90 and continue north through Spokane via Division St. The two highways share the same route until they reach "The Y", where US 395 continues northward to Deer Park
Deer Park, Washington
Deer Park is a city in Spokane County, Washington, in the United States. The population was 3,652 at the 2010 census.-History:Deer Park was officially incorporated on June 24, 1908. Deer Park got its name when railroad surveyors saw deer grazing in the area. Deer Park was settled in 1889 when a...

 then onward to Canada, and US 2 branches off to the northeast, continuing to Mead
Mead, Washington
Mead is an unincorporated suburb north of Spokane in Spokane County, Washington, United States. Named for Civil War general George Meade, this rural area is tracked by the United States Census Bureau. As of 2010, population of Mead was 7,275....

, Chattaroy
Chattaroy, Washington
Chattaroy is an unincorporated community in Spokane County, Washington, United States. The town is located on U.S. Route 2 approximately 10 miles north-northeast of Spokane at the confluence of the Little Spokane River and Dragoon Creek.- History :...

, Newport
Newport, Washington
Newport is a city in, and the county seat of, Pend Oreille County, Washington. The population was 2,126 at the 2010 census.-History:Newport was given its name in 1890 because it was selected as a landing site for the first steamboat on the Pend Oreille River. Newport was officially incorporated on...

, and Sandpoint
Sandpoint, Idaho
Sandpoint is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Bonner County, Idaho, United States. Its population was 7,365 at the 2010 census.Sandpoint's major economic contributors include forest products and light manufacturing, tourism and recreation and government services...

.

Over the past decade, the Washington State Department of Transportation
Washington State Department of Transportation
The Washington State Department of Transportation , was established in 1905. The agency, led by a Secretary and overseen by the Governor, is a Washington governmental agency that constructs, maintains, and regulates the use of the state's transportation infrastructure...

 (WSDOT) has aggressively improved local highways to keep up with the region's growth and to try to prevent congestion problems that plague many large cities around the country. In 2005, the WSDOT completed the first two phases of its I-90 Spokane-Idaho State Line widening project. Currently the interstate has been widened to six lanes through Spokane Valley, but another $210 million in funding is still needed to widen the last segment between Sullivan Road and the Idaho state line.
North Spokane Corridor


The Department of Transportation is currently constructing the North Spokane Corridor
North Spokane Corridor
The U.S. Route 395 North Spokane Corridor is a $2.2 billion limited-access highway project in Spokane, Washington, that is designed to improve freight and commuter mobility through the Spokane Metropolitan Area...

. When completed, the corridor will be a 10.5 miles (16.9 km) long limited access highway that will run from I-90 in the vicinity of the Thor/Freya interchange northward through Spokane, meeting the existing US 395 just south of Wandermere Golf Course. The north-south freeway is expected to take over $2 billion to complete (over $3 billion if inflation is factored in). The first drivable link of the freeway was officially opened to traffic on August 22, 2009 and runs from Farwell Road near US 2 south to the vicinity of Francis Avenue & Market Street (approximately 4 miles (6.4 km)). Construction is currently under way at US 2 near Shady Slope Road, where contractors are replacing a small culvert with a much larger one which will accommodate both fish and wildlife passage under the highway structures, and constructing bridge and on-ramp structures which will create an interchange connecting US 2 with the US 395 North Spokane Corridor; this segment is tentatively scheduled to open in mid-2011, followed by the final project on the north end of the corridor, which will connect US 395 with the NSC the following year. The rest of the freeway will be built as funding is made available.

Public transportation

Before the influx of automobiles, people got around by using Spokane's streetcar system. Many of the older side streets in Spokane still have visible streetcar rails embedded in them, as they were never removed. Streetcar service was reduced due to declining ridership beginning in 1922, and by August 1936, all streetcar lines had been abandoned or converted to motor buses.

Today, mass transportation throughout the Spokane area is provided by the Spokane Transit Authority
Spokane Transit Authority
Spokane Transit Authority, more commonly Spokane Transit or STA, provides mass transit services in the Spokane County Public Transportation Benefit Area...

 (STA). STA currently operates approximately 151 buses and has a service area that covers roughly 143 square miles (370.4 km²). A large percentage of STA bus routes originate from the central hub, the STA Plaza, in downtown Spokane. Passengers who stop at The Plaza can transfer to virtually any other Spokane Transit route.

Talk of constructing a rapid-transit system began in earnest in the late-1990s, with a light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 system being a preferred option to bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit is a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems using buses to provide faster, more efficient service than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling...

. The proposed light rail line was to run from The Plaza eastward through the Spokane Valley
Spokane Valley, Washington
Spokane Valley is an incorporated city in Spokane County, Washington, United States. It is located east of Spokane and west of Coeur d'Alene. It surrounds the town of Millwood on three sides...

 to Liberty Lake
Liberty Lake, Washington
Liberty Lake is an incorporated city in Spokane County, Washington, United States, on the Idaho state line. Liberty Lake is a suburb of Spokane, Washington. Thus, it is situated between Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho...

, with future extensions from The Plaza to Spokane International Airport
Spokane International Airport
Spokane International Airport is a commercial airport located about west of downtown Spokane in Spokane County, Washington. It is the primary airport for Spokane, eastern Washington, Coeur d'Alene, and northern Idaho...

, Liberty Lake to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Coeur d'Alene is the largest city and county seat of Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. It is the principal city of the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area. Coeur d'Alene has the second largest metropolitan area in the state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census the population of Coeur...

, and a line running in the median of the currently-being-constructed, North Spokane Corridor. In 2006, the $263 million project was narrowly defeated by voters, shelving the project for the time being. A non-profit, non-partisan citizens group, The Inland Empire Rail Transit Association (also known as InlandRail), was created to continue the public dialog.

Spokane has rail and bus service provided by Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 and Greyhound
Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is an intercity common carrier of passengers by bus serving over 3,700 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, operating under the well-known logo of a leaping greyhound. It was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA, in 1914 and...

 via the Spokane Intermodal Center
Spokane Intermodal Center
The Spokane Intermodal Center is an inter-modal transport facility that serves as a station, re-fueling, and service stop for the Amtrak Empire Builder, as well as the Greyhound and Trailways station for Spokane, Washington, USA....

. The city is a stop for Amtrak's Empire Builder
Empire Builder
The Empire Builder is a passenger train route operated by Amtrak in the Midwestern and Northwestern United States. It is Amtrak's busiest long-distance route and busiest daily train, carrying more than 500,000 travelers annually since 2007. Overall, it is the railroad's 10th-busiest line. Before...

on its way from Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

. Through service continues once a night to both Seattle and Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, a reflection of the old Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway
Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway
The Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway was a United States-based railroad incorporated in 1905. It was a joint venture by the Great Northern Railway and the Northern Pacific Railway to build a railroad along the north bank of the Columbia River....

.

Airports

Spokane, Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington
Eastern Washington is the portion of the U.S. state of Washington east of the Cascade Range. The region contains the city of Spokane , the Tri-Cities, the Columbia River and the Grand Coulee Dam, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the fertile farmlands of the Yakima Valley and the...

 and North Idaho are served by Spokane International Airport
Spokane International Airport
Spokane International Airport is a commercial airport located about west of downtown Spokane in Spokane County, Washington. It is the primary airport for Spokane, eastern Washington, Coeur d'Alene, and northern Idaho...

 at Geiger Field (GEG). Spokane International Airport is the second largest airport in the state of Washington and is recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

 as a small hub. The airport is located 5 miles (8 km) west of downtown Spokane and is approximately a 10-minute drive away. Spokane International Airport is served by ten major airlines and three air cargo carriers. The international airport three letter designation is "GEG", a result and legacy of the Geiger Field days prior to 1960, when the airport was named after Army aviator Major Harold Geiger
Harold Geiger
Major Harold C. Geiger , born in East Orange, New Jersey, was a pioneer in US military aviation and ballooning who was killed in an airplane crash in 1927...

 in 1941.

Felts Field is a general aviation airport serving Spokane County and is located in east Spokane along the Spokane River. Felts Field served as Spokane's primary airport until Spokane International Airport was built.

Mead Flying Service is a small, privately owned airport located approximately 1 miles (1.6 km) north of Mead, Washington
Mead, Washington
Mead is an unincorporated suburb north of Spokane in Spokane County, Washington, United States. Named for Civil War general George Meade, this rural area is tracked by the United States Census Bureau. As of 2010, population of Mead was 7,275....

 in Spokane County. The Deer Park Airport
Deer Park Airport
Deer Park Airport , formerly known as Deer Park Municipal Airport, is a city-owned public-use airport located three nautical miles northeast of the central business district of Deer Park, a city in Spokane County, Washington, United States....

 is located approximately 22 miles (35.4 km) north of Spokane. Though small, the airport with two runways accounts for 67.9 jobs, and $4,077,316 in economic activity for the Spokane area.

Utilities

The City of Spokane provides municipal water
Water supply network
A water supply system or water supply network is a system of engineered hydrologic and hydraulic components which provide water supply. A water supply system typically includes:# A drainage basin ;...

, wastewater management
Sewage treatment
Sewage treatment, or domestic wastewater treatment, is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater and household sewage, both runoff and domestic. It includes physical, chemical, and biological processes to remove physical, chemical and biological contaminants...

, and solid waste management. Spokane operates Washington's only waste-to-energy
Waste-to-energy
Waste-to-energy or energy-from-waste is the process of creating energy in the form of electricity or heat from the incineration of waste source. WtE is a form of energy recovery...

 plant, as well as two solid waste transfer station
Transfer station
A transfer station is a building or processing site for the temporary deposition of waste. Transfer stations are often used as places where local waste collection vehicles will deposit their waste cargo prior to loading into larger vehicles...

s in the Spokane area as part of the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System, a collaboration between the City of Spokane and Spokane County
Spokane County, Washington
Spokane County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington, named after the Spokane tribe. As of the 2010 census the population was 471,221, making it the fourth most populous county in Washington state. The largest city and county seat is Spokane, the second largest city in the state,...

. Electricity generated by the waste-to-energy plant is used to operate the facility with excess energy being sold to Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy is Washington state's oldest local energy utility providing electrical power and natural gas in the Puget Sound region of the northwest United States...

. Natural gas and electricity is provided by Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is an energy company with its headquarters in Spokane, Washington in the United States. It employs nearly 2,000 people who work in five western states...

, while CenturyLink
CenturyLink
CenturyLink, Inc. is a United States telecommunications firm, headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana. The company, founded as Central Telephone & Electronics Corporation in 1968, later changed its name to Century Telephone Enterprises, Inc. in 1971, and then was called CenturyTel, Inc. from 1999 to 2010...

 and Comcast
Comcast
Comcast Corporation is the largest cable operator, home Internet service provider, and fourth largest home telephone service provider in the United States, providing cable television, broadband Internet, and telephone service to both residential and commercial customers in 39 states and the...

 provide television, internet, and telephone service.

Sister cities

Nishinomiya, Japan – since September, 1961 (Spokane's first sister city) Limerick, Republic of Ireland Jecheon
Jecheon
Jecheon is a city in Chungcheongbuk-do , South Korea. The city is a major railway junction , served by the Jungang, Chungbuk and Taebaek Lines. Jecheon has scenic surroundings and several tourist spots like the Uirimji Reservoir, Cheongpung Lake and Cheongpung Cultural Properties Complex...

, South Korea Jilin
Jilin City
Jilin City is the second largest city of Jilin province in Northeast China. At the 2010 census, 4,414,681 people resided within its administrative area of and 1,975,803 in its built up area...

, China Makhachkala
Makhachkala
-Twin towns/sister cities:Makhachkala is twinned with: Sfax, Tunisia Siping, China Spokane, United States Vladikavkaz, Russia Yalova, Turkey Ndola, Zambia-See also:*...

, Russia

See also

  • People from Spokane
  • Inland Empire (Pacific Northwest)
    Inland Empire (Pacific Northwest)
    thumb|The Inland Empire regionThe Inland Northwest, or Inland Empire, is a region in the Pacific Northwest centered on Spokane, Washington, including the surrounding Columbia River basin and all of North Idaho....


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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