Once a staple of Spokane's Christmas to-do list, the once-famous department store's animated window displays have been pulled from a dark, dusty basement and into the window front of the Davenport Grand as a tribute to Spokane's history. So you have to go see it, duh!
Ready for a history lesson? No no, don't run away, this one is actually really interesting! And we will do the cliff notes version, okay? Here we go...
In the beginning of August 1889 (yes, 1889!!), a massive fire destroyed downtown Spokane, but amidst the smoke stood a brick building which already had plans to open as a store the following day. With all their new merchandise, they were one of the only places to shop soooo as you can imagine, they were the hottest new place in town (get it? hot? after a fire?!)
Okay okay, bad jokes aside, they became so popular, they had to move multiple times to larger buildings, and finally bought their own in 1899 on Riverside and Wall-- this became the final home of the department store The Crescent (queue angels singing). While it went on to receive national attention, The Crescent would remain a part of the beating heart of Spokane where shoppers would "meet under the clock" (so Hallmark movie of them, right? ugh, I love it), enjoy Reuben sandwiches and milkshakes at the lunch counter, and most significantly of all, flock to the streets in December every year to see the Christmas window displays. This was a very big deal! I should have bolded it, right? Here, try this--
Shoppers would flock to the streets in December every year to see the Christmas window displays.
Okay, well then, unfortunately, in 1986 The Crescent would be bought by Frederick & Nelson, and in 1988, it changed names accordingly when the "Crescent" was removed from the building front. The Frederick and Nelson store was open until 1993 when it changed ownership again but then quickly went out of business.. which means the Crescent Building was no longer a department store. Sad face.
Those once-popular store front displays that drew crowds were stored away in the basement to never be touched or heard of again..... or... is that right??
Now, with a big round of applause, bring to the stage Elisabeth Hooker and the Downtown Spokane Partnership!!! Elisabeth was in charge of the movement to resurrect the department store Christmas displays but not without the help of a group of volunteers (that apparently have no phobias of dusty old doll figures with missing heads!). The displays slowly came back together (heads too!), and now, once again after decades passed, they have a new spot to shine in the large display windows of the Davenport Grand on Main Street... 120 linear feet of it! (Are you getting teary eyed? Asking for a friend..)
The displays feature nutcracker dancers, Santa's "nice" list next to the fireplace, and--my favorite--a woodland scene complete with a large moose (A MOOSE!!) and a pair of beavers chopping wood.
Okay, there are beavers in scarves and hats chopping wood, you guys.
No word so far on how long these displays will be viewable at the Grand, but there is talk about keeping this up every year around Christmas time with more displays that need to be restored for something new to see next year! Whoohooo! Between this and the Christmas Trees of Elegance... and horse drawn carriage rides... and skating on the only ice ribbon west of the Mississippi!! Spokane is upping its Christmas game, and yeah, okay, I'm impressed.
And now I'm gonna text my boyfriend and tell him to meet me under the clock!