Moving to a Sound Future

SPR Fire Station No. 3 by Don Hamilton

Spokane Public Radio rehabilitated a historic Spokane treasure, Fire Station No. 3 on North Monroe and Sharp. This community hub has state-of-the-art performing and recording studios. We are in the process of growing the news, arts coverage, and local programing you depend on. Thank you for your gifts to the Moving to a Sound Future project!

Spokane artist Harold Balazs had a crazy idea.

While creating the steel sculpture Spokane Public Radio had commissioned for the Fire Station No. 3 Courtyard, he realized the different components would ring with different tones when gently struck. Why not get a few percussionists to “play” the artwork?

In September 2016, SPR held a small ceremony to dedicate the Jim Sheehan Family Courtyard at the new broadcast facility in the historic Fire Station No. 3. This move to a new facility “rang in” a new era of service. Spokane Symphony percussionists Bryan Bogue, Paul Raymond and Adam Wallstein volunteered to do the striking. Jim Sheehan and Family looked on with Harold Balazs and friends as the percussionists improvised a six-minute piece on “Listen,” the sculpture Balazs fashioned to abstractly suggest a human ear.

Don Hamilton / Hamilton Studio

Spokane Public Radio's studios and offices are located at 1229 N. Monroe St. at Sharp, just north of downtown Spokane. Fire Station No. 3 is on both the National and Spokane Registers of Historic Places.

These images below show highlights of the occupied building, as it looks the week of SPR's 36th Anniversary and Open House. The production staff had just moved in and all three stations -- KPBX, KSFC, and KPBZ -- were independently working.



After more than 35 years operating from the Hoban Building, SPR spent two months removing traces of having been there. SPR occupied the second floor of the building at Monroe and Carlisle from late 1979 until February 2016.

Engineer Jerry Olson led the expedition through cables, false walls, and equipment that wasn't crucial to initial broadcasting at SPR's Fire Station.

SPR Birthday Party & Fire Station Grand Opening

Jan 23, 2016

Hundreds of members, listeners, and well-wishers came to the Grand Opening of SPR's Fire Station No. 3 on January 23, a few days after Spokane Public Radio's 36th Anniversary.

Tours continued almost non-stop from noon until after 4 p.m. The building was mostly silent around 1 p.m. as the guests crowded into the new Performance Studio to witness the "Plug-In" Ceremony.

SPR Celebrates 36 Years with Live Broadcasts

Jan 19, 2016

SPR began broadcasting KPBX 91.1 on Jan. 20, 1980. As part of the birthday celebrations, the new studios at the Fire Station No. 3 will host a trio of live music broadcasts the week of Jan. 20, 2016.

Wednesday, Jan. 20 during Morning Classical 10-11 a.m. we hear the Spokane String Quartet: the first ensemble to play live at the first home, the Hoban Building. SPR takes our programming full circle.

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