Riverfront Spokane

Project Title: Riverfront Spokane
Landscape Architect: Berger Partnership
Category: General Design, Public Ownership
Award: Award of Honor
Location: Spokane, WA

At the heart of Spokane, Washington, Riverfront Park is sacred ground. A landscape perched on rugged basalt outcroppings in and around the channels of the Spokane River as it plunges over falls from the Spokane Valley into its Great Gorge. Despite its grandeur, the site was exploited for industry as the city grew around it. Healing and reclamation began for the 1974 World’s Fair (Expo ’74) and then Riverfront Park.

After 40+ years, the treasured but tired landscape was reimagined. Reintroducing riparian ecologies and native plantings, mitigating contaminated soils and stormwater onsite, honoring and refreshing the Expo legacy, uncovering long-erased archaeologies, and seamlessly unifying disparate spaces has created rich and memorable park experiences for a new generation. The project has transformed not just Riverfront but also the city’s psyche, recentering the city around the river, honoring its namesake tribe with meaningful presence in the park, becoming the icon for the region, embraced by the community as the destination to come together and as a catalyst for a new wave of community pride and ambition.

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