We love the idea of a new library for Boise and the architect hired is renowned, BUT, if you have seen the initial proposed site plan, you may have noticed that, ALTHOUGH LISTED IN THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES, THE CABIN IS GONE (replaced by a patio)!
The final design is far from done so this is the time to act!
The city has not made a final decision but, from our discussions, it appears that the architects were NEVER asked to design a library that keeps the Cabin on-site (even though the Human Rights Memorial next door is being left in place). We think the Memorial and the Cabin are both Boise landmarks and, as preservationists, we are strongly opposed to moving the historic cabin. National Register Listing means something and recognizes the importance of the Cabin to the history of Boise and the State. You can read the actual NR Listing below; especially the Statement of Significance. The creation of the cabin is a great story and underlines why this 1940's building represents an important part of the unique history of Idaho and deserves to be respected in its prominent location on Capital Boulevard. The city is not proposing to demolish the building, but has spoken with the Board of The Cabin about a move to Julia Davis Park. This may seem like a reasonable compromise, but a move negates the integrity of the building and the importance of forestry in Idaho's history. It also diminishes the value of a literary center adjacent to the library, the significance of the site on the Boise River, and may impact its National Register Listing.
The cabin was built specifically to house the Idaho Forester's Office. The story of how it was built and what is inside is just as important as the beautiful exterior and is part of why it is National Register Listed - read more by clicking the button below.
SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Take a moment to email the Mayor and City Council
Let our elected officials know that...
"I would like the architects to be asked to re-design the library to include the cabin with appropriate access and open space that respects its history and its role as the current home for The Cabin's reading and writing programs."
Below are the emails for Mayor and City Council. You can cut and paste text above (or craft your own) into the email.
Mayor Dave Beiter - email@example.com
Council President Lauren McLean - firstname.lastname@example.org
Council President Pro Tem Elaine Clegg - email@example.com
Council Member Scot Ludwig - firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Lisa Sánchez - email@example.com
Council Member TJ Thomson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Holli Woodings - email@example.com
KEEP THE CABIN - ON THE RIVER
The site of the cabin was chosen as a reflection of its purpose and its connection to the rivers and the rugged timberlands of Idaho. Each room's walls are covered with a specific type of lumber from the forests of Idaho. The National Register tells the story of how the design came to be.
Preservation Idaho supported the formation of the Log Cabin Literary Center (to save the cabin from demolition many years ago) and we do not see the value in moving the structure now when it should rightly stand along side the new library, arts and history facility. The unnecessary move of the Cabin will further add to the cost of the library and that money could be used to build the new library itself.
We have the right and the obligation to stand up and speak up for our cultural history and landmarks. Please make your voice heard today!
The city held Open House Public Meetings for input on the library design. Thanks to all our preservation supporters who attended and provided feedback. The city has compiled comments in a report.