SIERR Building at McKinstry Station

Spokane, Washington

Award Type: Honor Award

In 1907, Spokane was at the forefront of electric transportation technology, and the Spokane Inland Empire Railroad Building served as an influential hub in the development of electric railroads in the region. But that success was short lived due to the rapid rise of the automobile, and the SIERR Building was abandoned. Decades later, McKinstry CEO Dean Allen saw in the building the opportunity to demonstrate the company’s values of innovation, creativity and sustainability by putting the building to use for offices and retail. 

Funding for the project came from local, state and federal tax credits, as well as a grant for innovative design and energy conservation. The project attained LEED Gold Certification status through a variety of green features. Extensive masonry cleaning met stringent historic standards and used only ecologically friendly methods.  Staircases feature reclaimed wood from the project, and car barn doors have been preserved as tables and room dividers.

The SIERR Building at McKinstry Station is not only revitalizing the neighborhood, it has also resurrected a major part of Spokane’s history. In 1907, the building was designed to represent a new, emerging era in transportation technology. Today it represents a new, emerging era in preservation.    

“While each is unique, this year’s outstanding Honor Award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “Whether it’s the restoration of an iconic post office in Philadelphia or the transformation of a Greyhound bus station into a Civil Rights museum in Montgomery, this year’s Honor Award winners demonstrate how saving places is bolstering local economies and creating jobs in communities across the country.”