Masterplan shows new vision for Riverfront Park | News
Riverfront Park has seen few changes since the railroad tracks that encompassed Havermale Island were ripped up for Expo ‘74. But now, 40 years later, the city is looking at the future of what the pride of Downtown Spokane could be for the next generation.
The park is the main attraction in Spokane drawing five million visitors a year. With a new hotel aimed at bringing in more events and convention, the need for a park update is growing.
“It only makes sense that we invest in it,” explained Leroy Eadie, Director of Spokane Parks & Recreation.
New park renderings give a stunning visual for the park could become.
“At this point they are concepts,” said Eadie, a wish list for the park. Not every concept will make it to the final stages, but the renderings offer up a priority list based on what the community and an advisory team has had to say.
A promenade extending from the Rotary Fountain to the north entrance aims to give a direct line through the park. It would also connect the arena with the rest of downtown. The extended walkway would include more safety lights, and power sources to house larger events.
“If funded, a promenade will get built,” said Eadie, even if it doesn’t look exactly like these early renderings. “It’s the spine of the park.”
Other top priorities are a new building for the Looff Carrousel to better preserve the historic, hand carved horses, and a repurpose of the Pavillion to make it better suited for multiple types of events. Also in the works is a possible large scale playground, which is one of the things that community members have been most vocal about.
“We’re also being cautious about what’s affordable to the community,” said Eadie.
Eadie said they hope to have the plan approved by City Council by the end of July and put the $60 million bond on the November ballot. If funding is approved, construction could begin as early as summer 2015.
The Masterplan is being presented throughout the spring and summer at neighborhood council meetings, and meets in City Hall twice a month. These meetings are open to the public.
Visit www.riverfrontparkmasterplan.org for more information on the Riverfront Park Masterplan and for a schedule of public meetings and presentations.