When asking about the history of Huntington Park many will ask you if you mean the park that opened just this year. Huntington Park has been at the heart of the Spokane River for over thirty years. Its lack of a formal and visible entry has caused it to go unrecognized by many.
This past spring Huntington Park was renovated along with City Hall Plaza, and connected to Riverfront Park. Huntington Park now boasts stunning views of the lower falls with a 360 degree overlook walk way. Other improvements to the park include a new grassy area for recreation, as well as art pieces and interpretive exhibits reflecting the Spokane River's legacy.
When Washington Water Power began building a new dam as part of the Monroe Street Hydroelectric Development project in 1972, they set aside a piece of land to build a park. Steps were built along the falls so people could see the river feed into to the dam turbines. Huntington Park was then opened to the public just before the 1974 World's Fair. While it was easy to see Huntington Park from surrounding properties, the entry was not. The entrance was also gated off, giving visitors the impression they were trespassing. The steps were refurbished, and a formal entry was created as part of the 2014 renovations.
The park was named in honor of Washington Water Power's third president, David L. Huntington. David L. Huntington started working for Washington Water Power in 1884. Beginning as it's treasurer, he quickly climbed the ranks and assumed the role of president in 1910. But Washington Water Power was was a struggling business. They had only a few thousand customers, and the Monroe Street plant was limited to serving Spokane only. Under Huntington's leadership the company gained over 50,000 more accounts, and was providing services to 10 counties in Eastern Washington and six counties in northern Idaho.