Tower

Tower | Spokane, WA | February 2020

Wall #2 | There’s nothing fancy about the neighborhood surrounding the Spokane County Courthouse, a massive but frilly structure built in 1895 and affectionately labeled “The Castle.” Experts say it’s the best example in the western U.S. of French Renaissance architecture, its cones and turrets based on a pair of overly ornate chateaux. I like that I can spot its flag-topped tower from the back-alley door of a neighborhood pub. The spire peeks above a chipped wall, a nearby dumpster, and us early risers arriving for the $4.99 breakfast special. “Whatcha see?” asks one bleary-eyed patron who’s already had his own liquid breakfast. I point to the tower, and he sighs. “Don’t be fooled. It’s pretty but nasty. People got hanged there. By the neck.” Then he wobbles away.

[In photo: Tavern Guy spoke the truth. Spokane County’s first public hanging took place in The Castle’s courtyard in 1900.]