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					City of Spokane
Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens Restoration

The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens project demonstrates the dedication and
commitment to preserve an important cultural landscape in Spokane. Careful historic
research, documentation, and preservation planning too place and community
partnerships were developed to advocate, fundraise, and provide support for the long-
term survival of the 2.9 acre historic gardens.

Project Summary
The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens opened to the public in August 2007. Their
significance was discovered in 1998, becoming an inspiration for a nine year research,
planning, and restoration process to save historic character-defining features from being

Dormant for over 65 years, the Heritage Gardens needed prudent stewardship to survive.
Decades of soil erosion, invasive plant material, and vandalism was compromising the
structural integrity of basalt staircases, foundations, columns, and concrete basins that
existed on the site. A conscientious and thorough plan was developed to preserve and
protect the landscape.

Located in Pioneer Park, visitors to the historic site were impressed with the hilltop
setting, the sixty foot pond carved out of the hillside rock, the basalt waterfall, and the
remaining columns that once formed a seventy-five foot long pergola whose timbers sat
on native basalt-faced columns. The natural surroundings, panoramic views of Spokane
and the distant mount ranges, and the rich history inspired public participation to support
the site’s preservation and historic restoration.

Prudent Stewardship to Protect the Site
        Spokane Park Board designated the park site for historic purposes in 1999.
        Year-long community planning process took place to develop the master plan
           through a series of community meetings, the City Neighborhood Assembly,
           and adjacent neighborhood councils.
        Master plan was reviewed by the Spokane Landmarks Commission and
           approved by the Spokane Park’s Board in October 2000.
        A unique agreement between two departments, the Spokane Parks and
           Recreation Department and the Spokane Landmarks Commission established
           a review process for changes to the landscape based on the Secretary of the
           Interior’s Standards.
        The Tacoma, Washington firm AHBL, Inc. was contracted to prepare a
           Cultural Landscape Report outlined by the Secretary of the Interior’s
           Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation
        Completed in 2004, the Cultural Landscape Report incorporated an inventory
           and assessment of the site, outlined the importance of retaining the historic
           character and features of the landscape, and a treatment plant for the
           preservation, restoration, and reconstruction of the Moore-Turner Heritage

Community Support
Due to budget constraints, the city was unable to fund the restoration. The community not
only participated in the master planning process but also donated funds for preservation
planning. The Spokane Preservation Advocates hosted annual site clean ups and awarded
a project preservation grant.

Local foundations, private donors, Washington’s Heritage Capital Projects Fund, and the
National and Washington Trusts for Historic Preservation contributed to stabilizing the
site, halting deterioration, and planning for restoration. With a generous $1.2 million gift
from Myrtle Woldson, work to restore the site began in January 2006.

          A neighborhood liaison for the Cliff – Cannon and Manito – Cannon
           Neighborhoods was appointed to participate in the construction meetings to
           provide reports to the adjacent councils on the project progress. Plans to
           remove trees were announced early to minimize impact to the site and apprise
           neighbors and businesses when changes were to occur.
          The restoration included installing a wrought iron perimeter fence that would
           block access to the popular hillside trails. To address neighborhood concerns
           and provide permanent access through the hillside, a historic pedestrian trail
           and staircase that was originally established in 1931 was reestablished.
           Several blocks from Lewis and Clark High School, the trail was aptly
           renamed after the school mascot, ‘Tiger Trail’.

Community Partnerships
      Friends of the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens were organized in 2007 to
        provide volunteers for tours, a docent program, and landscape maintenance
        support; raise funds for on-going maintenance; and advocate for long-term
      Spokane Preservation Advocates hosted a ‘Diamond Celebration’ even on
        August 15, 2007 to commemorate the reopening. The organization remains
        committed as an advocate, resource for volunteers, and grant funding source.
      Spokane Parks Foundation continues to be a funding resource to ensure the
        landscape retains its historic significance and prominence in the community.

Enriching Quality of Life
As with historic buildings, cultural landscapes demonstrate to visitors the importance of a
region’s origins and history. The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens has captured the era of
residential estate gardening as the only remaining Arts and Crafts designed landscape of
its kind in the Inland Northwest. Restoring the site to the timeframe the historic gardens
flourished between 1911 and 1914 has added a historic destination within the park
system, and provide scenic, educational, economic, ecological, social, and recreational
opportunities for the community – enriching quality of life.
          The historic gardens will remain an open green space blocks from downtown
          As an outdoor living history museum, an interpretive sign program describes
           the history of the site and the restoration, and includes a photo timeline for
           educational and cultural purposes.
          The newly installed perimeter wrought iron fence and increased attention to
           the park has deterred vandalism and vagrancy.
          The reestablished hillside ‘Tiger Trail’ has improved travel from Spokane’s
           south hill to Lewis and Clark High School and downtown Spokane.
          An ADA accessible trail was installed to provide access to prominent historic
           features including the carriage road, rose garden, and the lower perennial

Restoration and Preservation
The Heritage Gardens are located on Spokane’s lower south hill in the Marycliff/Cliff
Park Historic District – one of the two historic properties purchased by the Spokane Parks
Board in 1945 to form Pioneer Park. The Moore-Turner Property was originally owned
by prominent pioneers Frank Rockwood Moore (1889-1895) and U.S. Senator George
Turner (1896-1932) who are noted for local, state, and national civic and political
contributions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

          Untended and unaltered since 1932, the significance of the site was
           rediscovered following an ice storm clean-up of the hillside in 1997.

          In keeping with the popular Arts and Crafts landscape design style, in 1911
           the Turner’s added impressive timber-framed garden structures, native rock
           water features, and exotic plants to the basalt faced terraces constructed in
           1889 to retain the hillside. A rose arbor, tea house, pergola, sixty foot pond
           and waterfall, reflection pool, conservatory, and greenhouses were
           incorporated into the site’s impressive rock formations and numerous basalt
           outcrops taking advantage of the slope and views of the city.

          Historic photographs, remaining stone work, a 1946 site plan, and Spokane
           area plants lists in the Olmsted Archives were used to develop the design and
           construction plans. The restoration is based on the largest collection of
           research materials recovered. Remarkable photographs were found in Mrs.
           Turner’s scrapbooks at Washington State University Archives in Pullman,
           Washington capturing the site improvements between 1911 and 1914.

AHBL, Inc., Tacoma, Washington was contracted to prepare a Cultural Landscape
Report outlining a treatment plan for the preservation, restoration, and reconstruction of
the site. The construction bid packet required bidders to provide three references
documenting employee work on historic projects and to submit photographs of each of
the completed projects.
A summary was also required outlining proposed practices and procedures to be used to
complete the work that demonstrated awareness of the historic nature of the gardens and
the sensitivity required. Contracts were not required to be awarded only on price. The bid
award took into account the site sensitivity and the contractor’s ability to preserve the
gardens’ historic significance. A.M. Landshaper, Inc. was awarded the public works

The three year preservation and restoration occurred in phases. The work was intended to
be a multiphase project to restore the garden elements and bring the site closer to its
original design intent. The first phase (2005-2006) required stabilizing the existing
historic elements, clearing and grubbing the site, installing a perimeter iron fence with
basalt-faced columns, reconstructing a 1931 pedestrian staircase on the property line
outside the fence, and restoring the carriage road – found after removing nearly 1,000
cubic yards of soil.

The second phase (2007) included reconstructing the historic features, implementing the
planting plan, and installing the interpretive sign program and garden amenities.

Positioned at the base of the steep north-facing hillside, the original gardens were
established in 1889 and maintained until 1932 as residential gardens for the Moore and
Turner families. With an elevation of nearly 120 vertical feet, innovative construction
techniques were used to access the hillside and install the infrastructure while protecting
historic plant material and the original stone work.

          The design and construction team worked closely with the City of Spokane
           Public Works, Utilities, and Building Departments for plan and code review,
           permits and inspections.
          The City Engineer assisted with the design of the structures to insure their
           accurate reconstruction. Tree removal was well-planned and meticulously
           implemented – either crane-lifted from the cliff, dropped in sections and hand
           carried, or in remote areas, horse logged.
          Planned for public use, substantial footings were designed and installed below
           grade to reconstruct the wood structures.
          Constructed with solid hand-milled fir, each 300 lb beam and rafter for the
           seventy-fixe foot pergola was lifted by crane over cliff. The solid fir posts,
           beams, and rafters for the arbor were hand-carried and assembled using the
           original mortise and tenon journey.

The gardens were hand-watered at the turn of the 20th century, new irrigation and potable
water lines were sensitively installed. The project included installing public amenities
(benches, drinking fountains, and trash receptacles), reestablishing the carriage road
through the site, and regarding and surfacing the network of paths and trails.

The budget for the $1.5 million dollar project included $32,725.00 for the Cultural
Landscape Report; $119,132.00 for design services; $471,729.00 for clearing and
stabilizing; $33,917.00 for the sign program; $135,482.00 for the fence and garden
amenities; and $105,979.00 for in-kind project management.

Lynn Mandyke
Corbin Arts Director

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