Constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, the Latah Creek Trestle accommodated mainline intercontinental service through downtown Spokane. The rail line and trestle were abandoned by the railroads about 1970 as rail traffic was consolidated on the line located south of the river near First Avenue. It was the abandonment of this rail line and the consolidation of the railroad property by Metropolitan Mortgage that has enabled the development of Kendall Yards and the placement of the Centennial in the Gorge Park land in the Spokane River Gorge.
Over the years since 1970 the concrete abutment for the trestle has been used as an informal viewing point of the river gorge and the Spokane skyline. The elevated point provides views lines that were not possible at ground level. The abutment did not provide a safe or accessible viewing location and was required to be removed as part of the recent trail construction.
Jim Frank of Green Stone Homes has proposed a viewing platform intended replicate the view from the abutment. It is generally located in the same location at the confluence of the Spokane River and Latah Creek. The design of the lookout is intended to capture that design character of the trestle located at this same spot, providing an opportunity to honor the railroad history of the property.
The proposed lookout would be located on City Park land and would be subject to City Parks and Recreation approval. The elevated platform is proposed to be about 16 feet above ground level and is accessible by stairs.
The Design Review Board will have a collaborative workshop to review the project this Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in the Council Briefing Center at 5:30 p.m. This will be the first of two meetings the DRB will have to review the project.