Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute
Towards the end of the 19th century, the United States government was looking to build a fort in the inland Northwest. In 1895, Spokane residents purchased land in the Twickenham Park area and deeded it to the government so they could build a military post, as the people of Spokane saw the fort as an opportunity for financial growth. This fort was to replace the outdated Fort Spokane, and was originally known as New Fort Spokane. Construction began in 1897, with the official opening in 1899. It was renamed "Fort Wright," in honor of General George Wright, who had been active in the Seminole War, the Mexican War, and the Northwest Indian Wars. The name was changed again in 1908 to "Fort George Wright" to prevent confusion with a different Fort Wright.
Despite the high hopes of the locals, the fort was never fully utilized , and the government declared it surplus and put it up for sale in 1957, with educational facilities given preference. Spokane Falls Community College bought part of the land in 1960 and leveled all of the original structures on their portion. In 1963, the Sisters of the Holy Names purchased the remaining 76 acre for Holy Names College, later renamed Fort Wright College, which operated until 1982.
Once Fort Wright College was closed, the buildings were leased to various organizations until 1990 when they were purchased by the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute (MFWI). MFWI is a branch campus of Mukogawa Women's University in Nishinomiya, Japan, the Japanese sister city of Spokane. Between 1990 and 2000, various building around the campus have been restored or renovated and 192 trees have been planted, and in 1994 a 20,000 sq. ft. library was built.
In 2010, the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation, a national accrediting agency for English language programs both in the US and abroad, known for its high standards, accredited Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute. Since 1990, over 10,000 students have studied at MFWI, learning the English language and becoming immersed in American culture. Conversely, the Japanese Cultural Center on campus teaches Japanese culture and understanding at schools and festivals around the area.