Discover the unique history, charm and diversity of downtown Spokane


Paulsen Building

The East Downtown Historic District is a collection of historically significant commercial, mixed-use and warehouse buildings anchored by the Northern Pacific Railway Depot. The district is on the eastern edge of Spokane's central business district. Since the 1890's, this area has been an important part of the downtown's industrial and commercial heritage by providing housing and business establishments that met the needs of those who came to Spokane to work and live either temporarily or permanently. Two predominant property types have historically characterized the district warehouses and single room occupancy hotels (SROs). This historic district comprises approximately twenty-seven square blocks with a total of 107 resources of which eighty-three, or 78%, are historic. The period of significance for the district begins in 1890 with the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway Depot and Fire Station #1 following the great fire of 1889. Over half of the buildings within the district date from the period between 1900 and 1910, which represent the city's most pronounced period of economic and population growth. The East Downtown Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.