The Preservation Idaho Advocacy Committee meets monthly to review threats to Idaho’s historic resources. Unfortunately, the committee often finds out about a potential historic loss at the 11th hour leaving little time to offer alternatives, alert the public, and contact key agencies.
Typically, the committee seeks historic background and photographs of a threatened building and reaches out to the owner(s) and local agencies to seek alternatives. Our role as advocates for preservation encourages us to write letters, speak up at public hearings, and share concerns with the media. With rapid growth in Idaho, Preservation Idaho’s mission of preserving Idaho’s historic places through education, collaboration and advocacy is being tested.
idaho state forester's building / The Cabin
On November 27th, Boise City Council voted 4 to 2 to approve moving the cabin off of its original site. The final destination was not confirmed and will be voted on in January 2019. Both Preservation Idaho and The Cabin were invited to speak regarding our views on what should be done.
We were very disappointed at the outcome of the vote. We do appreciate that much time and discussion was devoted to the topic at the meeting, however, Council was unable to see the value of leaving the cabin where it was built and, instead, raising the elevation of the new library so that the desired connection to the river and greenbelt was attained. It is especially unfortunate given that the cost of raising the library was described as minor by the design team and that the cost savings of keeping the cabin on-site would have been over a million dollars that will be spent for moving and receiving-lot preparations. That money could have been spent on the new library and perhaps helped to ensure sufficient funding for the Event Space section and the new home of the Boise Arts & History Department.
There has been discussion that the National Register Listing may be preserved if the cabin is moved into Julia Davis Park, however, that will remain to be seen. The National Register Listed Historic Idaho State Forester's Building was constructed in 1940 as the home of the Idaho Forester’s Office. The building is currently home to The Cabin, a non-profit literary arts center leasing the City-owned property adjacent to the Library. Click the boxes below for links to the National Register Listing Form, and our blog for information on how you can help.
west warm springs historic district
A new historic district may be coming under review by Boise City's Historic Preservation Commission. Early in 2018 Preservation Idaho learned that the owner of the Eoff/Brady/Hon House at 140 W. Main St. was looking for a partner to assist in rehabilitating this Queen Anne style home. The City of Boise heard that the home was potentially slated for demolition and acted quickly to raise the issue before City Council. An emergency moratorium was issued on demolition permits while the City begins the formal process of designating a new historic district in this area, neighboring the rapidly expanding St. Luke's General Hospital campus. Preservationists are happy to see the the City address the need to protect Boise's architectural history.
PLANNING AND ZONING APPROVED THE DISTRICT ON 10/1 AND MOVED IT TO THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION WHO WILL MEET ON 10/29. IF APPROVED, CITY COUNCIL WILL MEET ON 12/11 TO APPROVE OR DENY THE PROPOSED DISTRICT. PLEASE TRY TO ATTEND ANY OF THESE MEETINGS YOU CAN. WHETHER YOU TESTIFY OR NOT, YOUR PRESENCE TELLS THE CITY THAT THEY HAVE THE SUPPORT OF BOISE CITIZEN. THAT SUPPORT IS CRUCIAL TO ENCOURAGING THEM TO COMPLETE THE DISTRICT AS PROPOSED. PLEASE BE THERE-PLEASE EMAIL-LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD.
The City Council Hearing to vote on the East Main Street Historic District is 12/11/18 at 6 PM at City Hall/Third Floor. PLEASE plan to be there. It really will make a difference.
Statewide county courthouses are threatened as municipalities struggle to maintain their historic courthouses. Many of these buildings are listed in the National Register and are great examples of early 1900's architectural styles. In 2016 the beautiful Jefferson County Courthouse was demolished. In 2002 the Old Ada County Courthouse (also known as the Capitol Annex) nearly saw the fate of the wrecking ball. The building has since been rehabilitated for a new use and we are so thankful to see it used today as the University of Idaho Law and Justice Learning Center.