The Foster’s Warehouse building is one of many Boise buildings designed by the well-known local architecture firm of Tourtellotte & Hummel. The four-story building was built in 1910 by Anton Goreczky for the W.P. Fuller Paint Company.
Goreczky is a well-known figure in Boise as the owner of what would later be called the Boise Sash and Door Factory. His plant and mill yard, along with the warehouse, covered almost an entire city block and included railroad switching facilities for shipping. His facility supplied sash, doors, screens, bracket turning, mouldings and dressed lumber to the region. The most distinctive feature of the warehouse is the curved side of the building that followed the original tracks of the railroad that ran through downtown Boise and accessed the warehouse district.
The warehouse was acquired by Foster Furniture in 1951. Foster’s Warehouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, which led to a fight for its survival in the late 1990s.
In 1996, the then-owners proposed demolishing the building because of their concerns about fire, safety and accessibility issues arising from the building’s design and age. Local ordinances should have prevented demolition since it was recognized as a contributing structure in a locally designated historic district, however, the Boise City Council voted to overturn the designation at the request of parties seeking to redevelop the area around the warehouse. After other measures failed, Preservation Idaho determined that a legal challenge was the only way to ensure the building’s preservation. Finding pro bono legal representation and going to court is a significant step for a nonprofit, but fortunately, Preservation Idaho prevailed, won the lawsuit, and the building was saved.
The unique aspects of the building have been preserved to contribute to the success of BODO, an area combining old and new buildings.
As the Boise Downtown Project (BODO), began in 2002, the fire, safety, and accessibility concerns were addressed by adding a new elevator lobby and stairway built in conjunction with new development on either side of the warehouse. The beautiful curved wall is hidden behind the walls of the garage to the north, but the building still stands and has tenants on all four floors. The unique aspects of the building have been preserved to contribute to the success of BODO, an area combining old buildings and new buildings; tenants of all types and sizes, and commerce and entertainment year-round. Preservation Idaho recognized BODO’s efforts with an Orchid Award in 2006.