Spokane's Best Neighborhoods -
Hipster Rating (out of 10): 1
Predominant Housing Prices:
Ownership: Around $350,000
Rental: Around $1,500
Housing Density: Single Family
Mixed Use Rating: Poor
Lincoln Park-Altamont Neighborhood Description
The Lincoln Park-Altamont Neighborhood represent the other side of the South Hill. Located a few miles east of Manito, the neighborhood is not the image most people conjure when talking about the South Hill. However, Lincoln Park-Altamont's obscurity only adds to the neighborhood's mystique.
The neighborhood bursts with historic homes, particularly toward the Altamont area, and has remained largely stable since development began in the late 1800s. Lincoln Park-Altamont suffers from a lack of mixed commercial uses and thereby the neighborhood's overall hip factor will also take a hit. No worries, however, because that's not the product Lincoln Park-Altamont is trying to be. Low density, historic, and large single family homes with wide ranging architectural diversity create one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city.
Elements that Create Great Neighborhoods
An Identifiable Center
The historic Franklin Elementary School anchors Lincoln Park-Altamont. One could make an argument, and rightfully so, that Lincoln Park itself is the neighborhood's center. However, given Franklin's ability to connect the lower reaches of the neighborhood (Altamont area) to the upper reaches (Lincoln Park area), as well as the property's unique natural amenities, residents in the neighborhood are always but a short walk from Franklin Elementary.
Lincoln Park-Altamont's boundaries are fairly distinct. The neighborhood's southern reaches are bound by a steep bluff separating it from Spokane's Lower East Side. Lincoln Park itself serves as a fine northern boundary. To the east, busy Ray Street serves as marker between development eras and, more importantly, architectural styles. Only the western boundary is a more of a transition zone between Lincoln Park-Altamont and the South Perry Neighborhood.
A Front Door
There are not any formal front doors into Lincoln Park-Altamont but opportunities exist along 17th Avenue (in either direction), heading south bound up Altamont Street from the Lower East Side, as well as traveling east bound on 9th Avenue from the South Perry Neighborhood.
Mixed Land Uses
Lincoln Park-Altamont is going to suffer with this category. The predominant land use is single family housing while parks, schools, and open space fill in the gaps.
Diversity in spades. Few neighborhoods do this better than Lincoln Park-Altamont. The diversity exists from home to home. If ever in doubt about Lincoln Park-Altamont's architectural diversity, take a drive around the Altamont Boulevard loop and then on up Mount Vernon Street. You'll discover some of the best homes in the city.
Structures that Address the Street
The vast majority of homes in the neighborhood do a great job of addressing the street. Ornate front porches and rolling front greens greet the passer-by of the larger homes.
Streets that Generally Connect
Being one of Spokane's older neighborhoods, Lincoln Park-Altamont's street system mostly connects to other streets. There is even some creative diversity from the traditional grid system.
Although several of the newer blocks within the neighborhood, particularly the closer you get to Ray Street have sidewalks but not detached from the street, the bulk of LP/A consists of a great pedestrian infrastructure.
Being an established South Hill neighborhood, Lincoln Park-Altamont represents well in the street tree department.
Walkability is fantastic in Lincoln Park-Altamont so long as you're not expecting to walk to any commercial amenities.
Lincoln Park-Altamont is not a mixed use neighborhood in the classic smart growth sense, and that's okay because it does everything else so well. Consideration of adding formal front doors is an expense the neighborhood may consider rallying around.
Additionally, neighborhood quality could use an injection of street trees and detached sidewalks the closer to Ray Street the blocks become. All and all, very manageable and relatively insignificant challenges for one of Spokane's healthiest neighborhoods.
(Featured photo from Frank Fujimoto)