East Central is a neighborhood in Spokane, Washington, in the United States. It is located on the east side of Spokane and is in a central location, as the name implies. Although the legal district is large, many regard the International District on East Sprague Avenue, the South Perry District, the Underhill Park area, the University District, and the eastern tip of Downtown Spokane to be separate neighborhoods.
Although East Central was intended to be a working-class suburb when it was created early in Spokane’s history, the neighborhood saw a string of bad luck during World War I, the Great Depression, and again in the 1950s.
In 1965, the neighborhood suffered another big loss when Interstate 90 was built, effectively cutting the area in half. As a result of the demolitions and relocations, churches and other community-building organizations, as well as businesses, were forced to close their doors.
The neighborhood gained a reputation for being a shelter for poverty, prostitution, and illegal narcotics as a result. This is particularly apparent in the vicinity of Sprague Avenue, which is cut off from the rest of the community by I-90.
City planners concentrated their emphasis on urban redevelopment activities in the surrounding area during the first decade of the twenty-first century. The first neighborhood to be targeted was the South Perry District. The installation of curb bump-outs at crosswalks and bus stops on Perry Street began in 2007, with the goal of slowing traffic on the street. Other enhancements included the planting of shade trees, the installation of pedestrian lights on walkways, the inclusion of benches, and other amenities.
The project was completed at a cost of more than $900,000 dollars. Between 2009 and 2012, six new businesses opened on Perry Street between the eighth and twelfth avenues, with the most recent one debuting in 2012. Restaurants, restaurants, and shops, as well as other retailers, were among the businesses represented. Residents from the surrounding and adjacent areas flocked to the four-plus block stretch of Perry Street, which quickly became a gathering spot.
On the other side, the urban renewal project continues. As of November 2021, the area surrounding Sprague Avenue still included a considerable number of abandoned buildings, including the old McKinley School, which is illustrated above. Over the last few years, plans to renovate the structure have been debated and changed several times, but none have been implemented.
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