Parking at the Garden
Map courtesy of the Spokesman Review, created by staff artist Molly Quinn (2001)
This parking lot is not what you think. Visitors to the Corbin Art Center in Edwidge Woldson Park use an old drive for a grand house that sat overlooking Spokane. Now just a parking lot, that area is the site of Mr. & Mrs. Frank Rockwood Moore's beautiful home built in 1889. Senator and Mrs. George Turner purchased it in 1895, adding many flowers and fine features like ponds and arbors. After the Senator's death, there were many attempts to sell the house and it's grounds. Alas, it was the Great Depression so in 1914 the house sold in pieces to settle the estate, leaving the gardens to to the city and to nature.
For more history of the people go to: http://spokanehistorical.org . Search for Moore Mansion.
In 1996, a destructive November storm hit the Spokane area, causing power outages and weeks of problems for home owners, businesses and power companies. The silver lining of 'Icestorm' was the clean-up of a steep hill next door to the Corbin Art Center, where steep stone stairs and walkways were evident in the undergrowth.
Research into "what's there?" was begun by the Director of the Corbin Art Center and members of the historic preservation community in Spokane.
Ten years after the bones of the garden were discovered, after many feet of soil had been excavated, the basalt walls, the carriage road and all the landscape features were reconstructed carefully and accurately by Spokane's Department of Parks & Recreation. The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens opened to the public in 2007. Free to the public and open seasonally, due to the rustic stairs, each visitor gets to walk through the style and history of Spokane's grandeur during it's Arts and Crafts Era.
A Brief History of the Gardens Today
On the gravelled Carriage Road, you are walking in the Turners footsteps of 100 years ago. The Heritage Gardens were at their peak between 1900 and 1912. The roses, wisteria and fragrant iris that scent your exploration are planted based upon the photos and writings of Mrs. Bertha Turner, discovered at Eastern Washington Historical Archives.
These pictures and the details of the restoration are on story boards placed throughout the gardens to give you a real feel for the history that is alive where you are standing.
Walk all the way up to the large Main Pond on rustic stone steps (only for the sure-of-foot), and you'll be rewarded with a spectactular view north, over busy downtown Spokane and Riverfront Park, looking toward GreenBluff, Arbor Crest Winery, Mount Spokane and Five Mile Prairie.
Relax in the shade of the Wisteria Arbor, or rest on the bench under the huge Doug Firs, before you wander down past the Pump House, where the Turners harvested mushrooms, and visit the Tea House Gazebo.
Enjoying a Tour of the Gardens