Notice: Construction has started in Riverfront Park and may impact some bicycle and pedestrian routes. Before you visit, please see the latest construction map for the best routes around redevelopment zones. Some attractions are currently unavailable due to redevelopment.
The Clocktower on Havermale Island was originally part of the Great Northern Railroad Depot. Construction began in 1901 and finished in 1902. The depot was an impressive brick building 3 stories tall, with the monumental Clocktower standing in at 155 feet.
The Clocktower's South wall was part of the depot's exterior, while the lower portions of the North, East, and West walls resided in the building. If you look closely at the East and West walls (about halfway up) you will see a sloping line where the roof was originally located.
During 1972 and 1973, long after the “glory days” of train travel, the Great Northern Railroad Depot was demolished as Spokane made preparations for Expo '74. The Clocktower was able to be preserved and serves as a reminder of Spokane's railroad history.
This 110 year-old “giant grandfather clock” is wound by hand once a week. The clockworks are housed in a small room behind the 4 clock faces. Each week, a technician climbs 5 stories to reach the clockworks. It takes 99 turns of the crank to rewind the clock.
The pendulum weighs about 200 pounds and is suspended from a thin strip of metal. The counterweights hang from cables and descend approximately 40 feet between windings. If the time needs to be adjusted, it is done from inside the clockworks room.
The clock hands on each face are attached to a shaft which connects to a U-joint in the clockworks. Each clock face measures 9 feet in diameter. At the top of every hour, the clocktower can be heard throughout the park. The sound of the electronic chimes is amplified through speakers in the top of the tower.
(Garbage Eating Goat is currently unavailable for viewing as it is fenced off within an active construction area. We apologize for any inconvenience.)
The Garbage Goat in Riverfront Park was designed by Sister Paula Turnbull, a Catholic nun, for Expo '74 as a recycling/environmental statement.
This corten steel sculpture of a goat will eat small pieces of trash with the aid of its vacuum digestive system. Don't throw your garbage on the ground, feed it to the Garbage Goat.
Havemale Island is located just north of the South Howard Bridge. The island was named after Reverend Samuel Havermale, an early Spokane settler. In 1877, this island was used as a pioneer stronghold during a battle with the Nez Perce Indians. Until 1974, Havermale Island was also home to the Great Northern Railrod Depot.
The Pavilion is located in the center of the park on Havermale Island. During the World's Fair, the Pavilion had a white canvas cover. In 1978 the canvas cover started to tear so much that it was taken down and replaced with the permanent roof underneath which gives our Pavilion an open air feel. There is about 4.5 miles of cable in the structure and it is held in place by a steel frame that weighs about 200 tons. From October through March, the Pavilion is turned into a regulation size ice rink and was voted one of the top 10 outdoor skating rinks in the nation.
Just west of the Forestry Shelter are the plaques indicating the location of the Philippine and German exhibits. The plaque showing the location of the USSR Pavilion, which was the second largest exhibit on the Fairgrounds, is located south of the Forestry Shelter. The plaque showing the location of the Australian Pavilion is just north of the Lilac bowl. The Australian government placed the sundial there after the Fair ended. The Korean Pavilion was also in this location. The Plaza of Nations plaque is located due north of the South Howard Bridge near the Japanese Gardens. Around the outside ring you will see a list of all the countries who were exhibitors at Expo '74. The plaque on the front was placed there in 1999 honoring the 25th anniversary of the World's Fair.
The small tree located just east of the Washington Overpass on the south channel of the river is the President's Tree. It was planted here by President George Bush Sr. in 1991. The original tree was moved to the Finch Arboretum due to vandalism. This is a representation of that tree.
Made from the rubble of the Lewis and Clark High School remodeling project, the bench is located just north and east of the South Howard Bridge.
Canada Island, known as Crystal Island prior to the World's Fair, was the location of the first water pumping plant in 1884 and is located just north of the blue bridge in the center of the Park. The main occupant of the island was the Crystal Laundry and Water Works, you can see the brick remains from the southern suspension bridge. After the Fair, the island was renamed Canada Island. The main part of the Canadian exhibit was in the brown building. A group of Canadian Indians were a part of the group who came from Canada to participate in Expo '74. While they were here they built two Totem Poles and performed their native dances throughout the day in the dirt circle called Alberta Amphitheatre. Other small group performances would also use this small stage.
Inspiration Point, located on the southeast side of the then North Howard Bridge, was finished in 1974. It is a nice place to go to enjoy the view of the river and Willie Willey Rock. Born in Mt. Ayr, Iowa on September 15th, 1884, Willie settled in Spokane. Known as a nature boy or mountain man, Willie traveled all over the country with many unusual pets. Due to his uniqueness, the media gave him much publicity. When asked his location, he would always say “Spokane.” Because of all the good publicity we received from his travels, Willie was known as Spokane's unofficial Ambassador of Good Will.
One of the six butterflies that were used to mark the entrances and exits to the World's Fair sites back in 1974, the Butterfly is located just North of the North Howard Bridge. While two of the butterflies were originally saved, the other one was located at the SkyRide, but was removed in 2004. It was at this gate that the one-millionth guest came through the turnstile into the Fairgrounds.
The Upper Falls Power Plant, located on the northwest side of Havermale Island near the suspension bridge, is owned by Avista Corp. They own two power plants within the park. The other one is at the base of the lower falls and can be seen from the SkyRide.
The Thomas R. Adkison Theme Stream connects the west portion of Havermale Island to the rest of the Park. Thomas R. Adkison was an executive architect for Expo '74. The theme stream is a symbolic re-creation of Havermale Island and was dedicated on May 12, 1988. Occasionally there is a beaver that occupies this theme stream.