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The Crescent

Downtown Spokane

The Crescent, originally the Spokane Dry Goods Company, was Spokane's leading department store for decades. The oldest portion of the downtown store was built on the southwest corner of Main and Wall. The cream colored exterior looks similar to that of other department store buildings built about the same time---the early 20th century--- such as Meier & Frank in Downtown Portland and Frederick & Nelson (now Nordstrom) in Downtown Seattle. The downtown Crescent was expanded south in the mid 1950s to include the SE quarter of the block. The final expansion was made in 1973 to include the NW corner of the block.

The first suburban Crescent store was built in 1959 at Northtown, Spokane's first regional shopping center. Marshall Field, the Chicago store that had owned Seattle's Frederick & Nelson since the 1920s, purchased the Crescent in 1962. A second suburban Crescent was built in the Spokane Valley at University City shopping center around 1970. There was speculation that The Crescent would expand to the Tri-Cities but it did not.

Marshall Field was purchased by BAT Industries around 1980. BAT sold both Frederick & Nelson and The Crescent to a Pacific Northwest group of investors who later sold these chains to another investor. The Crescent was rebranded as Frederick & Nelson. Frederick's went out of business in the early 1990s.

The downtown Crescent Building lives on as Crescent Court with retail on the first two levels and offices above. The photograph was taken in July 2003 facing southwest across the intersection of Main and Wall.

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