Manito Park, Boulevard Placed on National Register for Historic Places

Lynn Mandyke, Chair, Spokane Historic Landmarks Commission,; Garrett Jones, LLA, City of Spokane Parks & Recreation, Assistant Director of Park Operations, 509.363.5462,

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

Manito Park and Manito Boulevard, owned and operated by the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Division, have been officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Spokane City/County Historic Landmarks Commission partnered with the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Division for two years to develop the “Manito Park and Boulevard” National Register nomination application and a Multiple Property Documentation (MPD) form for the City of Spokane park system to record and document its history. The MPD document established the criteria used to evaluate eligibility to nominate individual park properties to the National Register. The Manito Park and Boulevard landscapes share the park system’s period of significance between 1891 and 1974, and the themes and physical characteristics that make them historically important.

The Manito Park and Boulevard nomination identified 39 resources that contribute to its historic significance including ten buildings constructed in the distinctive natural basalt typical of early City of Spokane park development. Duncan Garden, Gaiser Conservatory, Joel E. Ferris Perennial Gardens, Lilac Garden, Mirror Pond, Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Gardens, and Rose Hill and Gardens are historic features described in the nomination that details their history, year(s) of installation, and architect or designer. Manito Park and Boulevard’s period of historic significance is 1904 to 1974. The park was officially dedicated to the City of Spokane in 1904 and its major development continued until 1974 when the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Gardens were completed.

Funding for the project was procured from a state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation grant which was prepared by the Spokane Historic Landmarks Commission at a time when they were without a historic preservation officer. Funding was also provided by the Parks and Recreation Division, the Spokane Historic Preservation Office, and the Spokane Preservation Advocates.

The National Register listing is an honor that signifies a property is an important part of America’s cultural heritage considered worthy of preservation and formal recognition of the property’s historical and architectural significance based on the national standards.