"At one time the East Central neighborhood was the most diverse neighborhood in the city."

In this interview Ivan Bush, who has lived in the East Central neighborhood for over 35 years, identifies some of the most influential institutions and leaders over the past few decades and emphasizes the diversity that has characterized the neighborhood.

Indeed, residents of East Central know that it has always been divided into two distinct areas: "below the bluff," the lower part of the hill known for its smaller, less expensive houses, and "above the bluff," the upper part with its larger, more stately homes. As a whole, it has also been one of the most economically impoverished areas in Spokane, largely left out of the city's development plans. The I-90 freeway exacerbated the situation by not only further dividing the neighborhood below the bluff, by effectively isolating it from the rest of Spokane. It also displaced hundreds of residents and, over time, has resulted in a less cohesive left East Central less cohesive than it once was. As Bush relates, the construction of the freeway has "created a mental and a physical division." Still, it is a unique neighborhood that is slowly recovering from the damage caused by the construction of the I-90. Its residents may lack material wealth but they are, according to Bush, "rich in so many other ways."



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