SIERR Building at McKinstry Station

SIERR Building at McKinstry Station

“This massive railroad shop building had been abandoned for so long that many people thought that it was too dilapidated to restore…McKinstry’s rehabilitation efforts deserve recognition for achieving a high standard for sustainability and energy efficiency while maintaining the building’s historic character.”

Greg Griffith, Deputy State Historic Preservation Office


Reusing an Old Railcar Facility: Providing civil and structural services for this innovative office building

The Spokane & Inland Empire Railroad Building (SIERR) at McKinstry Station, built in 1907, was formerly a repair depot for the city’s first electric railway system. Designated a national historic landmark in 2010 through McKinstry’s efforts, the SIERR Building survives as the largest, most intact example of an electric streetcar facility from its era. McKinstry converted this turn-of-the-century building into their innovative, energy efficient Regional Inland Northwest headquarters, complete with green office space and retail tenants. DCI Engineers provided civil and structural design services for this 68,000-sf adaptive reuse project that preserves a unique part of Spokane’s history.

Project Highlights

  • McKinstry’s office resides in 30,000-sf of the total building space.
  • Adaptive reuse required extensive structural upgrades to the building envelope.
  • Provided innovative structural solutions for damaged beams, parapets, deteriorated masonry and foundation.
  • Mezzanines, decks, and an elevator core were added to the interior of the building.
  • Sustainability included 95% demo material recycled, material reuse, removal of hazardous waste, energy efficient systems including ground-source heat pumps, radiant panels, and a rainwater harvesting system.
  • Added new mezzanine structure in such a way to maximize square footage while avoiding the need to retrofit the existing structure.
  • Provided bracing of unreinforced masonry parapets to maintain the original profile where possible.
  • Added foundations to support new mezzanine and lateral system without disrupting the existing rubble foundations.
  • Difficult stormwater design due to the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Underground Injection Control Program requirements and seasonal high groundwater caused by the Spokane River, which is adjacent to this site.


State Historic Preservation Officer’s (SHPO) 2012 Awards for Achievement in Historic Preservation

Valerie Sivinski 2012 Award for Outstanding Rehabilitation

Nominated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Seattle AIA 2012 What Makes this Green? Awards Honorable Mention

NAIOP 2012 Night of the Stars Redevelopment/Renovation Development of the Year Award Winner

Spokane, Washington
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