Boots Bakery is one of my favorite places in downtown Spokane. Not only do they have delicious food, but also beautiful murals inside and frequently host poetry slams and a bunch of other creative events. I can't wait for sunshine and warm weather so I can sit on the patio and watch people go by.
The white caps and crosses on the top of the towers of Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral peek above the buildings along the Spokane River when viewed from Kendall yards. Situated on Riverside Avenue in a block that holds the Philanthropy Center, the Spokane Club and the old Masonic Temple and just across the street from the Spokesman Review Building, the Cathedral is in good company. Open for short periods of time before and after Mass each day, you can duck in to admire the vaulted ceilings and art. If that doesn't work for your schedule, no worries, there is plenty of beauty to be found in the exterior.
If you've never made a trip down to Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, it and the surrounding area are definitely worth a visit, then walk down to the Monroe Street Bridge and along the Centennial Trail to admire the falls!
The Paulsen Building is a historic seventeen story building on Riverside. It has a beautifully decorated exterior and the lobby (which is accessible to the public!) has a painted ceiling, ornamentation above every door, and a display of old elevator mechanics. The Paulsen Penthouse used to be owned by Helen Paulsen and her husband started living there in 1957, according to a Spokesman Review article. Helen lived there in the '80's, even after her husband died, but currently the space is used by Bozzi Media as an event space.
The lobby with it's painted ceiling and multiple friezes and carved ornaments are open to the public. If you're ever walking by on Riverside, you should definitely stop in!
The Garland Neighborhood is such a a fun, artsy area. There's been an proliferation of murals-clockwork owls, Vincent Van Gogh, graffiti inspired craft supplies at Sew EZ Too and more. I visit the area often thanks to my love for knitting supplies, Spokane Art School, and milk shakes!
Boulevard Mercantile occupies a wedge shaped brick building at the intersection of Monroe, Indiana and Northwest Boulevard. Perched there at the apex of the wedge, it has a friendly facade and many antenna projecting from the roof. I am a frequent customer as the owners of the store are great treasure hunters and the store is filled with a display of frequently rotating wonders. Recent purchases of mine have included an enormous coffee table book on the paintings of John Singer Sargent (score!) and an antique cast iron Christmas Tree stand that I got as a present for my mom. Their window displays never fail to make me smile, even when I'm stuck in my car at the red light. Currently they have a huge red star light up sign with a plane on it and it sparkles from behind the glass. Sometimes I day dream about buying that star. But WHERE would I put it?!
Thanks to a connection made with Mayor David Condon, he and I met a few months back to talk about my Artist's Eye on Spokane project. He was enthusiastic about the idea and a couple weeks after we met, his staff got in touch about having me be involved in the State of the City Address on February 9th, using my paintings to visually illustrate the narrative of the mayor's speech. Since I am trying to tell the story of our city with my art, I felt like this would be a good fit!
You can read about the speech and see a picture of the Mayor talking in front of my painting of the Fancher/Trent Railyard here.
Sprague has recently undergone some big changes-new crosswalks, landscape, bike racks, bus shelters and more. It is spiffy and welcoming and ready for you to come visit! Maybe to Bennedito's for beer and pizza? Or the Ivory Table for crepes or the Tin Roof for furniture and beautiful house decor?
Hillyard is a charming neighborhood with a gritty rail yard past. On Market Street you can see plenty of historic buildings as well as a multitude of murals. In this painting, my eye was caught by the combination of the bull's eye sign and the vintage minty-green building wall!
I subscribe to the Spokane Journal of Business and I learned from their email newsletter that the Otis Hotel has been bought by a real estate developer who is planning on renovating the Otis into a boutique hotel associated with the Hotel Indigo brand. I'd seen the building and its awesome sign multiple times while I was out and about downtown over the past year and thought, "I need to paint that!" Hearing that a renovation was in the works was the motivation I needed to capture this historic beauty before the new owners start making big changes. I'm sure, I sound like a broken record at this point, but I hope they keep or somehow incorporate the sign into the new project! Where do unwanted vintage signs go? I know Las Vegas has a museum of neon for all their old neon signs. It'd be great if there was a museum of vintage signage for these venerable signs to go to!
The Spokesman Review building here in Spokane is a very distinctive landmark with it's tower and the way it dominates the corner of this block. It is an icon of an older time, but I love that it is still in use and, for what I believe, is its original purpose-housing our local newspaper!
How many of you subscribe to the Spokesman? Do you read articles online or on Facebook?
According to the history section on the Bing Theater's website, the Bing Theater has gone through many incarnations since its 1915 inauguration. It started out as the Clemmer Theater, but then became the Audian, the State, the Met, and finally the Bing Crosby Theater. The beautiful coffered ceiling conceals an enormous pipe organ to surround the audience with music and sound, remember now, the Bing was built during the era of silent films! Now a days, it is used for theater, dance, music shows, live acts, and more. Here's to reinventing yourself!
To me, the Spokane Courthouse looks like a fairy tale castle, magical and mysterious, overlooking the Spokane river and all the more interesting for the juxtaposition against its neighbors (such as the building I said reminded me of Hoth in my previous post). Sadly, rather than being filled with expansive ballrooms, sweeping staircases or grand libraries, this castle is filled with paperwork. Frankly, I'm content to admire it from the outside!