top of page
Woman on original heritage garden carriage path

The historic photograph is courtesy of the Washington State University archives.

About the Gardens

"The most important part of a garden is the one who enjoys it."

   - Author Unknown


Celebrated as one of Spokane's richest legacies, the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens is honored as the only truly restored heritage garden in the Pacific Northwest. By definition, a "heritage garden" is an historic estate garden previously owned by pioneers who made significant contributions to the development of American towns and states both nationally and internationally. The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens terraced landscape was established and maintained from 1889 to 1930 as private residential grounds for the F. Rockwood Moore and Senator George Turner families.

F. Rockwood Moore was the first  president of Washington Water Power Company and helped start the First National Bank in Spokane.

George Turner served as a Washington State Supreme Court Justice; a United States Senator; and was appointed an international arbiter by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft and Woodrow Wilson.

F. Rockwood Moore

George Turner

In 1889, F. R. Moore and his wife Sarah Frances commissioned Kirtland Kelsey Cutter, one of Spokane's most applauded architects, to design a multi-storied hillside mansion with stylistic influences from English Tudor and Moorish traditions. Moore initiated sculpted rock walls, steps and paths across the hillside, and rock terraces were built for plantings. Six years later in 1895, Moore died, and the large mansion and sculpted hillside were purchased by Senator Turner and his wife, Bertha Turner. She made plans for the hillside terraces, and by the early 1900's, planting began in earnest.

pphome with landscape.JPG

Terraced Gardens

The Arts & Crafts aesthetic was chosen, and multiple gardens across the steep hillside were planted with a colorful profusion of flowers and flowering shrubs interspersed with reflecting pools, tea house, pergola and a fresh water pond.

At its highest vista on the hillside, the historic Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens offers a comanding and panoramic view of the city, Mt. Spokane, and 120 vertical feet of hillside garden pathways and garden landscape.

The historic photograph is courtesy of the Washington State University archives.

The Gardens became one of Spokane's most coveted and popular focal points, and played host to an array of socialites, civic leaders, politicians and dignitaries from Spokane and around the world.

before work.PNG

Judge Turner passed away in 1932 and a period of decline increased in the 1940s when the mansion was razed and the heritage garden landscape suffered repeated damage from neglect, vandalism, and overgrown vegetation.  Destruction intensified when an ice storm in 1996 ravaged Spokane, freezing everything in its path. Although destructive, the storm exposed the steep hillside, which led to a rediscovery of the age-old heritage gardens.

Remnants of rock walls and steps, structures, pools, paths and plant materials were found with their images captured in discovered color-tinted archival garden photographs from 1911-1914. Through dedicated staff in the City of Spokane Parks & Recreation Department, an extensive research process was initiated that led to historic register listings of the garden landscape, a published book about the Gardens, and a complete stabilization, preservation and reconstruction of the historic garden landscape. Using garden remnants and archival photos as a guide, the Gardens were restored with community funds from grants, donations and gifts. Today the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens bloom with numerous flowering shrubs and heritage flowers. 

The Friends extend a hearty welcome to visit a beautifully restored historic heritage garden landscape.

bottom of page