Peaceful Valley Spokane Below Maple Street Bridge

#6 Peaceful Valley

Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods –

Hipster Rating (out of 10): 10
Predominant Housing Prices:
Ownership: About $200,000
Rentals: About $800
Housing Density: Light to moderate
Mixed Use Rating: Good, due to its proximity to downtown

Peaceful Valley, Spokane
Peaceful Valley is just down the hill from downtown Spokane.

 

Peaceful Valley Neighborhood Description

If this were a list of Spokane’s coolest neighborhoods, or most unique neighborhoods, Peaceful Valley would be ranked number one on both counts. Peaceful Valley brims with character due to its historic value and the natural and man-made features that surround it. Peaceful Valley is located at the bottom of the Spokane River George just west of downtown. Surrounded on all sides by natural boundaries, steep bluffs tower above the neighborhood while the Spokane River and Latah Creek round out the edges. Due to its geography, Peaceful Valley’s location uniquely accomplishes the normally paradoxical goals of being somewhat isolated yet only a short walk to the heart of Spokane. Of all of Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods, Peaceful Valley is probably the most distinct.

 

Criteria

An Identifiable Center

Peaceful Valley is a long and narrow neighborhood that straddles the Spokane River.  In part because of its physical geography, and in part due to its proximity to downtown, Peaceful Valley does not really have an identifiable center. One could make an argument, however, that Peaceful Valley Park establishes the neighborhood’s center.

Peaceful Valley Park Spokane
Peaceful Valley Park is located underneath the Maple Street Bridge and it’s probably the funkiest little park in town.

 

Boundaries

Peaceful Valley has the most distinct boundaries of all of Spokane’s Best Neighborhoods. Surrounded by steep bluffs on two sides, and the Spokane River / Latah Creek on the other two, the distinction between Peaceful Valley and its surrounding neighborhoods is quite clear.

Spokane's Best Neighborhoods
See those rooftops underneath the Maple Street Bridge? Welcome to Peaceful Valley.

 

A Front Door

Main Avenue is the primary access down into Peaceful Valley. There is no front door welcoming the visitor to the neighborhood – a factor ripe for improvement, to be sure.

 

Mixed Land Uses

Aside from mixing single family and multi-family homes, neighborhood commercial amenities are few. However, downtown is a quick walk up the hill. Otherwise, Peaceful Valley does a great job if mixing recreational uses. Natural areas along the River and Latah Creek, as well as a manicured park anchor the neighborhood.

 

Diverse Architecture

Although largely a residential neighborhood, Peaceful Valley has a respectable array of architectural styles. Larger, historic homes interact well with smaller homes, and multi-family complexes mix well into the neighborhood.

 

Buildings that Address the Street

Peaceful Valley does well engaging the street. Although some homes and larger developments are isolated from the street, most structures add to the streetscape rather than subtract.

Peaceful Valley Homes Spokane
These three little guys encapsulate the essence of Peaceful Valley.

 

Streets that Generally Connect

Peaceful Valley will have a hard time with this one due to its constricted geography. Interestingly enough, the neighborhood’s founding fathers did try to incorporate a grid street pattern into early subdivisions. Trouble is most streets simply dead-end at the river or the bluff embankment.

 

Detached Sidewalks

Peaceful Valley is a mix of detached and attached sidewalks.

 

Street Trees

Uniform street trees are somewhat sparse in Peaceful Valley. However, there is generally a mature canopy of trees in the neighborhood. Additionally, much is gained given Peaceful Valley’s direct access to natural amenities.

 

Walkability

The neighborhood’s walkability is outstanding. Could you live in Peaceful Valley without a car? Yep, no problem.

 

Neighborhood Challenges

Peaceful Valley’s biggest challenge is lack of developable space. On the upside, many within the neighborhood prefer it remain largely as is. However, given its proximity to downtown, development pressures have come and gone over the years. Avoiding a blanket NIMBY approach toward higher density developments – either in the neighborhood or adjacent to it – by coalescing around smart growth strategies, including adding density, will ensure a win-win for the neighborhood and the City.

A less significant challenge is consideration of a front door. Peaceful Valley residents may consider lobbying the City for a few dollars to construct an appropriate front door into the neighborhood.

Spokane River at Peaceful Valley
The Spokane River creates a great destination for kayaking in Peaceful Valley.

 


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