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By Bert Smith
Them Dam Writers online 2020 

Crown Point Vista, a forgotten dream


Last updated 6/24/2020 at 8:44am

In 1946, a state park at Crown Point was proposed to attract tourists to the Northwest and Grand Coulee Dam. That initial park design showed a 320- by 220-foot state relief model and exhibition building, along with a 500-foot aluminum tower equipped with an elevator and topped with a rotating searchlight; estimated to cost $2 million. Work to build a road to Crown Point began in 1950 and the park property obtained from the government shortly thereafter. That initial design would subsequently be scrapped for a smaller and cheaper version. The existing Vista was designed in 1952 by Donn Sibold, an architect with the Washington State Parks Commission. In March 1953, park construction began and was completed in June of that year, costing $14,000. That design consisted of a circular concrete open-air building with concrete roof supported by pillars, with an oculus in the center. Although described as a viewpoint and picnic area, some have suggested it's a sundial, while others suggest it represents a generator or astronomical observatory. A bronze plaque, dated 1952, is embedded in the concrete near the entrance with names of project dignitaries. Can you imagine or dream what that location would look like today if that original vision had come to fruition? 

Bert Smith,

Them Dam Writers online 2020


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