GraduateStudents Successfully Nominate Historic Corridor to National Register

PULLMAN, Wash. — Spokane’s West Downtown Historic Transportation Corridor will be
added to the National Register of Historic Places, thanks to the work of seven Washington State
University history graduate students.
As part of a public history seminar taught spring semester 1999, the students wrote a
90-page nomination after a survey and research, said Janice Rutherford, a member of the WSU
history faculty and course instructor. In late September, the state of Washington Governor’s
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation unanimously approved the nomination and sent it to
the Keeper of the National Register in Washington, D.C., for review. Properties approved by the
keeper are added to the register.
The students are Donna Turnipseed, John Mann, Jeff Johnson, Brenda Jackson, Andrew
Duffin and Salina Davis, all of whom live in Pullman, and Bill Aberle of Kelso.
The transportation corridor has 65 structures in a 38-acre area. It runs along an old Northern
Pacific Railroad viaduct and First and Second Avenues in Spokane’s southwest quadrant.
Included in the corridor are warehouses, automobile-related businesses and single-room
occupancy hotels. Most of the brick warehouses were built along Railroad Avenue around the
turn of the century and some had to add second stories when the Northern Pacific raised the
grade in 1916 to accommodate growing automobile traffic, Rutherford said.
A row of hotels along First Avenue housed the transient work force that worked in the
warehouses. When carriage, harness and livery concerns along First Avenue converted to
automobile sales and repair in the early years of the 20th century, the street was known as “auto
row.” For a time, it served as Federal Highway 10. Auto Row eventually moved south, and
virtually all the buildings along Second Avenue from Lincoln to Cedar housed auto repair shops,
sales rooms, or related businesses such as tire sales, she said.
“This corridor has the highest concentration of these three transportation-related building
types in Spokane,” said Rutherford. “It is a monument to the importance of transportation to the
city’s history.”
WSU history doctoral student Donna Turnipseed is a Boise State University graduate and
has a master’s degree from the University of Idaho. Her hometown is Whitebird, Idaho.
Working on his WSU history doctoral degree, John Mann is a graduate of Bowdoin College
in Brunswick, Maine. The son of Janet and Paul Mann of Spokane, he holds a WSU master’s
degree in history.
A graduate of Carroll College in Helena, Mont., Jeff Johnson is working on his WSU
master’s degree in history. He is the son of George and Joyce Johnson of Cheyenne, Wyo.
Brenda Jackson is a WSU history doctoral student and a graduate of San Jose State
University, from which she earned a master’s degree in history. She is the daughter of Richard
and Shirley Jackson of Walnut Creek, Calif.
WSU history doctoral student Andrew Duffin is a graduate of Mount Allison University in
Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada. He holds a master’s degree from South Connecticut State
University. The son of Davis and Mary Duffin, his hometown is Cherryfield, Maine.
Salina Davis is working on her WSU master’s degree in history. The daughter of Carole and
Jerry Davis of Spokane, she is a graduate of Carroll College in Helena, Mont.
A WSU graduate, Bill Aberle is a WSU history master’s student. He is spending the current
semester at his Kelso home.