Spokane History Timeline

The Corbin and Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens, 1889 + 2006

The Corbin and Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens were established in 1889 and maintained by the owners of the houses until 1932. The names come from the families, which lived in the two houses at the time. The Corbin and the Moore houses were both designed by the famous architect Kirtland Cutter in the then fashionable 7th Avenue hill section of town. Mr. Frank Rockwood Moore was the first president of Washington Water Power. He also held mining investments and was partner to James Glover in the First National Bank. He died in 1895. Senator George Turner bought the house in 1896. He was a member of Washington’s state Constitutional Convention, and was appointed a Justice in the Washington Supreme Court. He and his wife lived in the house until Judge Turner’s death in 1932.

Moore Turner Heritage Garden
L2003-14.85 - West 525 Seventh, F. Rockwood Moore Residence/ Senator George Turner residence, ca 1912.

The Turners expanded the gardens with the help of Hugh Bryan, a Portland landscape architect in 1911. The garden is built into the face of the hill with terraces, trails, ponds, a pergola teahouse, and basalt retaining walls. The carriage road was a private road for the families to stroll through the gardens. There were rose garden, and a lilac garden, and near the top of the hill a pergola tea house where many summer parties were held. The gardens cover 5 acres of hillside.

Unfortunately after Judge Turner died in 1932, during the Great Depression, the house remained empty, and was repossessed by the bank. When they could not sell the house, it was torn down in 1940 for the back taxes. The gardens were neglected and totally forgotten. During the re-construction of the Stevens Street hill, tons of dirt was moved onto the space. The Spokane Parks Department purchased both the Corbin House and adjacent property in 1945. The Corbin House is currently used for art classes.

Moore Turner Garden
The Moore/Turner Gardens

The Tiger Trail, a really steep set of stairs, is located along the east side of the Turner-Moore Gardens, between the Corbin and Moore gardens. It was named Tiger Trail because students from Lewis & Clark High School used to use the trail to get to and from school. Walkers and joggers in the neighborhood now use the trail.

Following the Ice Storm of 1998, remnants of the garden were found and interest grew to research and restore the gardens to their former glory.  Workers had to first remove 1000 cubic yards of soil placed on the rose gardens during the street construction. The approvals and construction and listing with the National Historic Register were completed in 2006-2007. The restoration work was enabled by the use of historic photos. Visitors can easily see why this was one of the most elegant places to live while strolling through the gardens and looking north with the views of the city below.

Bibliography:

“Moore-Turner Garden.” Spokane Parks and Recreation. Website accessed 5.2.11: http://spokaneparks.org/Parks/page/592

Great pictures of the gardens: http://www.freespokane.net/?page_id=451
“Moore-Turner Garden.” Historic Preservation Spokane. Website accessed 5.2.11: http://properties.historicspokane.org/?PropertyID=1888

Photos used with permission from Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture/ Eastern Washington State Historical Society.

L2003-14.85 - West 525 Seventh, F. Rockwood Moore Residence/ Senator George Turner residence, ca 1912.

copyright (c) 2011, Discovery School.
All rights reserved.
Report created May, 2011.
Last Modified on January 4, 2012