Posted by: wadahp | October 20, 2009



Last week the American Planning Association (APA) announced the 2009 honorees for Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets, and Great Public Places. Since 2007, the APA has recognized 10 communities or locations in each of the three categories. In 2009, the Browne’s Addition in Spokane was selected as one of the 10 Great Neighborhoods and the only recipient in Washington State. Browne’s Addition has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1976. In its recognition, the APA described the historic neighborhood as…

The most culturally diverse neighborhood in Spokane, Browne’s Addition is a mosaic of past and present. Stately mansions are juxtaposed with low-rise apartment buildings and condominiums. Residents — some here by choice, others by necessity — appreciate the neighborhood’s proximity to downtown and its recreational opportunities and physical beauty. The grocery store is an easy walk from residences as is the coffee shop, restaurants and pizza parlor. An increasingly vibrant pedestrian realm has created a strong sense of community and provides opportunities for neighbors to mix and mingle.

The historic Spokane neighborhood is the only Washington state community represented on any of the three lists with another historic district, Ladd’s Addition in Portland and Broadway Street in Skagway being the other 2009 winners in the northwest.

It is interesting to note that for the third year running, the overwhelming majority of Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets, and Great Public Places selected by the APA are historic or older, established neighborhoods, thoroughfares, or parks. These places are almost universally walkable, have mixed uses, endowed with rich and varied architecture, and retain a strong sense of history and quality design. Examples include Fauborg Marigny in New Orleans, the so-called Bungalow Heaven in Pasadena, and The Green in New Haven. Even the few newer community places recognized by the program emulate the ambience and qualities of historic neighborhoods, business districts, and parks. Examples include the Grand Rounds in Minneapolis and President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock. It is very positive that the APA program continues to recognize that the historic fabric of our nation’s urban areas are setting the standard for what makes for quality of life and strong communities.

Congratulations to the city of Spokane and residents of Browne’s Addition who have achieved this national recognition. To see the full list of winners, slide shows, and criteria for selection, visit the APA website at


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