It really is a shame that so many of Boise’s old buildings were taken down with such recklessness. Looking at all of the different architectural styles in Historic Preservation makes me realize how many identities Boise encompasses, and I really like that that history is reflected in the architecture we have chosen to “save”. There are so many different styles of building, home, park, and communities here. I’m glad it’s not Santa Barbara. It’s hard for me to feel inclined to stop the development that might be ‘out there’ or ‘odd’ on the block, because someday that building will be a historic relic, of an idea, belonging to an individual or a group of individuals who thought it worth their time in creating. And so where do we draw the line?
So along these lines, I have answered one of the first questions I had in this class. My group went on a walk, we inquired after a small lawyers office, but we ended up at Pioneer Park on Fifth, west of the Basque Block. We filmed it, and noticed that there were a lot of what looked like cornerstones and title-stones for buildings. It is very much like a cemetery, and it turns out that it kind of is! The free-standing arch is from the Eastman building, it’s inscription and I believe the plaque were saved. (the Eastman building stood where the Boise Hole now resides). There is a block for Central School. This school was located on Grove Street, among some of the finest Boise residences. The children from the River Street neighborhoods attended Central School, including two black children. There are several other stones that I recognized, and the giant waterwheel is a relic of systems of canals that used to run on Grove Street, transferring water up the bench.
I had all of these questions the first week of class. Interesting, who knew there was so much to know?