History, Arts & Culture
Riverfront Park occupies 100 acres of land and water with a rich and varied history. Spokane Falls and the surrounding land has long been a gathering place for people. Native Americans gathered and fished at the falls. In the late 1800’s, pioneers settled here and started the city of Spokane. The railroad industry fueled the city’s growth and rail yards covered Havermale Island, the present site of Riverfront Park.
In 1974, Spokane hosted Exposition ‘74, “The World’s Fair.” In preparation for Expo ‘74, the Spokane River was cleaned up, the rail yards were removed, and the Great Northern Railroad Depot on Havermale Island was demolished. Our Clocktower is all that remains of the 1902 depot. View pictures and read more about the history of Spokane Parks and Expo '74. Also, a 2013 discussion on the development of Expo 74 with Jack Gerahty, Mike Kobluk and Bill Young http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_6wuEziTM8&feature=c4-overview&list=UUt6hXG8sD5uzChQQVvnAZhA
Our historic 1909 Looff Carrousel (from Natatorium Park) is a family favorite.
And, while you’re here, check out “The Spokane Sculpture Walk,” which highlights the sculptures in Riverfront Park and the Centennial Trail. The downtown segment of the Centennial Trail passes through Riverfront Park.
Riverfront Park (the legacy of Expo ‘74) continues to be a popular gathering place for local residents and tourists. We also host a variety of community events during the year, so there is always something fun to do! Browse our site for more information.