The Fair and the Falls: Spokane's Expo '74 (Paperback)

The Fair and the Falls: Spokane's Expo '74 By J. William T. Youngs Cover Image

The Fair and the Falls: Spokane's Expo '74 (Paperback)


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J. William T. Youngs-- better known simply as "Bill"-- is embarking on his second half century as a history professor at Eastern Washington University. His prize-winning book, The Fair and the Falls, tells the story of Spokane's Expo '74 within the framework of Spokane's entire history. We learn about the town's earliest fairs among the virgin pines and under railway trestles as a prelude to the story of its magnificent world's fair in 1974.

The protagonist of the story is the Spokane River itself. At first it beckons town-builder James Glover with its existential beauty and its potential utility. Then it powers Spokane to its position as the industrial hub of the Inland Northwest. During the early twentieth century the city thrived, but the river was all but forgotten, lost in a clutter of railway trestles, parking lots, and warehouses. During the 1950s suburban malls drew most of the shopping traffic out of downtown Spokane. The heart of the city was tawdry and financially strapped. What to do?

At this point, in 1964, local citizens hired King Cole, who turned out to be one of the most visionary and charismatic urban planners of his time. Cole led the movement that enabled Spokane to become the smallest city in the world to hold a world's fair. Additionally, Expo '74 was the first world fair to embrace an environmental theme. And the environment, notably the Spokane River, thrived during and after the fair. With urban clutter peeled back, the falls of the river now thunder through the heart of Riverfront Park-- arguably the most arresting riverscape in any American city.
Product Details ISBN: 9798218400941
Publisher: J. William T. Youngs
Publication Date: March 19th, 2024
Pages: 454