Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Tiki Central logo
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Trade Winds Motor Inn, Spokane, WA (motel)

Pages: 1 18 replies

Name:Trade Winds Motor Inn
Street:907 West 3rd Avenue


Photos from our "Lost in Paradise" vacation:

We caught sight of the sign on top of the building from the I-90 and decided to investigate.

Velvet painting flanked by tiki heads in the lobby.

This sign painted on the back of the building, featuring their signature tiki, is partly obscured by trees.

Here's a "before" photo that Sabu posted in this thread:

I dropped in on the Trade Winds in 2002. The young guy working the front desk said his mom (the manager) had added the masks and black velvet to the lobby and that he himself had designed the new plastic Trade Winds sign. Nice efforts considering similar places often completely erase all traces of Tiki.

Out front or by the pool I saw some old gas Tiki torches. It looks as if they may have been removed by 2007.

Great shot of the original sign.

nuKKe posted on Sat, Nov 14, 2009 9:50 AM

We stayed there in early May 2007, just a couple of months before Sweet Daddy Tiki's visit. It was dirt cheap, around $26 per night, but the word 'dodgy' does not even begin to describe the state of the place. Bed&Crank, my husband called it.

This is by far one of my favorite Tiki motel signs, so I was really happy to score a matchbook from this place.

The graphics and fonts make the sign look even cooler in the rendering.

Had never seen this one before.


Nice score! the tiki in the sign reminds me of the Grimes Islander sign.

On 2011-02-17 19:02, abstractiki wrote:
Nice score! the tiki in the sign reminds me of the Grimes Islander sign.

Thanks Abstract. Don't you mean the Tiki No sign? Ha!


Nice find! This is indeed one of the best examples of the "Shield sign" concept found in other places like the Leilani Wisconsin and Kon Tiki Tuscon, a subject which was discussed here by Sabu. It is also clearly a Tiki-period design, while the "Tradewinds" moniker, as I mentioned here...

...is clearly a Pre-Tiki concept. Looking at some of the Tradewinds motels posted here on TC, it is interesting that there were a couple of non-affiliated Tradewinds Motels who seem to have emulated the impressive Tulsa Tradewinds sign:

...which was also a Pre-Tiki design. Here are the Nebraska and Lake Tahoe ones:

(This one was has both, palm and Tiki)

Not quite as impressive, but they did better than this late, un-themed, POST-Tiki sign :) :

This makes Tradewinds signage another nice example of the transition form Polynesian pop to Tiki style.

I've always wondered what that was a painting of since it appeared in the BOT page 234 floating out of place in the middle of The Sea And Jungle Shop looking more like a founding father at a distance than the classic black velvet nudie painting.

That is a famous Leeteg painting entitled "Old Tahitian chief" (...or something like it, I'm not at home where my Leeteg material is). It is based on a B&W photographic portrait by a Tahitian photographer, who actually sued Leeteg for copying a couple of his photos without permission.

the same painting is in the Waikiki Supper Club at the tiki motor lodge in lake george.

I picked up a postcard that has a photo of the Trade Winds sign in the evening with the torches lit.

Also spotted this ad from the Trade Winds on flikr.

Here is the rest of the postcard. Unfortunately no Tiki shown anywhere else on the premises.


That round bed is SWANK!

I was just in Spokane earlier this month and it looks like the Trade Winds is:

Here's a peek inside the office (camera pressed up against the glass):

Is this just renos? Or is the Trade Winds gone for good?

Another look at the mural (before it's gone):

This article came up in a quick Google search from January, 2010, and I didn't see that this was previously mentioned in this thread.

January 10, 2013 in the "Business, City" section of the paper.

Trade Winds owners consider options; city wants land swap


Photo caption:
Mark Pinch, left, and Dave Black stand in front of the Trade Winds Motel at Third Avenue and Lincoln Street on Tuesday. The two are part of a group that has owned the motel for more than 10 years. The city would like to trade properties with the owners and improve the “gateway” to downtown from Interstate 90 by tearing it down and replacing it with a visitors center and green space.

Here's the full article text:

The city of Spokane is talking with the owners of the derelict Trade Winds Motor Inn about a property swap, with the intention of tearing down the motel to create a more appealing entrance to the city center.

Once a fashionable motel, built when the country loved Tiki-style architecture, the Trade Winds in recent years became a rent-by-the-month apartment complex for Spokane’s hard-luck crowd.

What happens to the former 60-room Trade Winds building depends on its current owners, Mark Pinch and Dave Black, who bought it with several partners for $456,000 in 1998.

Pinch and Black never operated the motel, located at the corner of West Third Avenue and South Lincoln Street. For the building’s entire 50-year history, it’s been operated by Spokane’s Lackman family.

Henry Lackman, the original operator, built the Trade Winds in 1962 on property leased from the Brotherhood of Friends, which also owned the BOF building at the end of the block. The BOF later sold its own building to Dan Overhauser several years after selling the Trade Winds building.

Lackman’s family ran it as a motel until the mid-1990s, when economics forced them to rent units to people looking for cheap downtown housing.

Henry Lackman died in 2010 at age 91. His son, Hal Lackman, kept the Trade Winds going until the 50-year lease expired in December.

After locking the doors and securing the windows, Black and Pinch hauled away five Dumpsters full of items and old furniture from the building.

Pinch and Black, who are brokers with NAI Black realty company as well as developers, say they’re reviewing their options for the building.

Black said the best use would be to remodel it.

“I think it can be profitable and operate as a budget hotel,” he said, adding, “it’s within walking distance of the heart of downtown.”

City officials, however, say its corner location has a negative visual impact on travelers entering the city from the Lincoln freeway exit. That corner is one of several eyesore locations the city wants to spruce up, said Jan Quintrall, the city’s director of business and developer services.

Quintrall said she’s asked Black and Pinch to take undeveloped city-owned land in trade for the Trade Winds. The city is not interested in buying the motel, she said.

If a property swap happens, the city would tear down the Trade Winds and replace it with an open block and a small downtown visitor center with green space, Quintrall said. The city would ask the Convention and Visitors Bureau to operate the center.

Quintrall said Yakima did something similar, creating an attractive downtown center that includes a wine-tasting room as a way to attract visitors.

“A lot of people grab a rental car at the airport and drive straight through to Coeur d’Alene. We need to give people a destination so they can come downtown more often,” she said.

Pinch and Black said they’re amenable to a trade, but they haven’t found a site that fits their needs.

“We like the idea of a trade,” Pinch said.

The owners and the city want an appraisal done, and that should happen within a month, Black said.

Katrina Yarbrough is pulling for the city of Spokane to tear down the building.

She’s an employee at Advanced Hearing Center in the downtown Brotherhood of Friends building at Monroe Street and Third Avenue.

“When the Trade Winds closed (in November), the people in this office felt like having a party,” Yarbrough said.

She and her co-workers sometimes had strained encounters with Trade Winds residents looking for handouts or a job, she said.

“If the city’s trying to tear it down, I support the city,” Yarbrough said.

Black, who’s done numerous private developments in the area, said he has no idea what the Trade Winds is worth.

The Trade Winds Motor Inn opened in summer 1962 to a tidal wave of publicity and public approval.

Henry Lackman told reporters he spent more than $500,000 to build the 60-room, four-story motel, situated one block north of the route of the planned Interstate 90. Though I-90 connected Coeur d’Alene with Liberty Lake in 1956, the downtown viaduct of the interstate wasn’t finished until 1967, according to records kept by the Washington state Department of Transportation.

The Trade Winds’ rooms were “extra spacious” compared to other local motels, media reports said. Reporters also noted it had a 38-foot swimming pool and 25-space underground garage.

On July 20 that year, about 4,000 residents visited the Trade Winds during its official grand opening.

The building is not on any historic register. Because it’s 50 years old, a demolition permit application could trigger a public hearing to determine if the owner would need to meet preservation guidelines before moving forward.

In recent years the Lackman family found it was too expensive to maintain the building. The elevator stopped working several years ago. The outdoor pool has been closed for years.

“At that point Hal (Lackman) decided to not fix stuff,” Black said. “He decided he would not put any more money into it.”

Back to better days, a photo from the grand opening of the Trade Winds in 1962.



Nice photo Dusty... thought I'd add a picture of the sign that was on the roof of the motel in its later years (just for the record).

and this ice scraper that I bid on and lost while ago. I really wanted it but not as much as a couple other bidders!

aloha, tikicoma

Pages: 1 18 replies