Idaho State Historic Preservation Office

Idaho State Historic Preservation Office


A Day of Service...
Our office will be closed Monday, January 17th in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Our office will reopen on the 18th.

Photo: St. Paul Baptist Church in Boise - construction in 1935 with multiple additions. The building was gifted by the Capital Christian Center to the St. Paul congregation in 1994.

#DayofService #Boise #MLK #MLKDay #federalholiday #historicpreservation #idaho #idahohistory #historicchurches #oldbuildings
Protecting a postwar portfolio…
The Idaho State Archives (ISA) provides public access to governmental and private record collections from across the state. These records provide important, long-term research value to the citizens and government of Idaho. Within the ISA holdings are several architectural collections that include the postwar portfolios of Sundberg & Sundberg (Idaho Falls), Nat J. Adams (Boise), and Bradford Shaw (Boise), along with a newly accessioned catalog illustrating the early career of Joseph LaMarche, donated by his family.

Joe LaMarche, along with Nat Adams, Glen Cline, Charles Hummel, Jedd Jones, and Art Troutner, was among Boise’s most prominent mid-century architects. In 1958 Architectural Record selected Grider & LaMarche’s “Ming Joy” Medallion home as one of twenty of the year’s finest house designs across the United States. This prestigious project brought him increased prominence within Idaho’s architectural community and as a result, he garnered new commissions. LaMarche was associated with many architectural firms over the years and his partners included Grider, Dropping, Kelley, Hosford, and Hummel. He also designed several notable mid-century office buildings, banks, and residences across the state.

Photograph from the LaMarche portfolio: Safeway on State Street in Boise, now occupied by Rite Aid, SHPO Staff photo.

#midcentury #midmod #archives #mcm #designed #MCMarchitecture #idaho #idahohistory #LaMarche #boisearchitecture #historicpreservation #history #architecture #midcenturymodern #midcenturyhome #thisisboise #midcenturymodern #midcenturystyle #midmodlife #boiseidaho #architect #instahome #idahome #idaho_insta
A broken axle...
From Smithsonian Magazine: "Nine Places Where You Can Still See Wheel Tracks from the Oregon Trail," which includes Big Hill in Montpelier, Idaho. Another area to check out ruts from the trail is at Massacre Rocks State Park which is depicted in the photo. Several segments of the Oregon Trail that cross Idaho are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

#oregontrail #archaeology #snakebite #visitidaho #idstateparks #fourthgradehistory #videogames
The grounds of the historic Assay Office in Boise have been covered with a beautiful blanket of snow the past couple of weeks.

#Idaho #IdahoHistory #VisitIdaho #IdahoTourism #hitsoricvacation #vacation #staycation #history #historicpreservation #beautiful #snow #idahome #photooftheday #snowday
Raise a glass to listing...
The Idaho SHPO is pleased to announce that the Boyd and Alta Hamilton House in Coeur d’Alene, popularly known as the “Hamilton House,” has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1908 for Boyd and Alta Hamilton, the city’s second mayor and his wife, the Hamilton House is today the home of the non-profit Music Conservatory of Coeur d’Alene. It is an excellent example of Colonial Revival style architecture and represents the work of George H. Keith, a notable regional architect based in Spokane and the designer of mail order architectural plans sold across the country.

Located at 627 N. Government Way, the Hamilton House occupies a corner lot in the Forest Heights Subdivision, one block north of the Kootenai County Courthouse. In 1910, less than three years after the Hamilton House’s completion, the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad purchased the property from Boyd and Alta Hamilton and relocated the house within its original lot to make way for the construction of a new railroad line. Despite this change, the Hamilton House has undergone few alterations since its original construction and maintains a high degree of historic integrity. To see the full nomination visit:

Photos: Hamilton House, 2021; Historic photograph courtesy of Mary Sanderson, and plans from the mail order catalog.

#nationalregister #historichome #mailorderhome #oldhouses #oldhouse #history #idahohistory #idahome #cdaID #idaho
Still seeking sessions…
The opportunity to propose a session and contribute to the content of Idaho’s Heritage Conference in 2022 closes at the end of next week.

In December, the Idaho Heritage Partners released a call for conference session proposals to be presented at the Pocatello conference. Tentatively planned for September of 2022, the 4th Idaho’s Heritage Conference will attract a statewide audience of professionals and volunteers in the fields of museums, archives, archaeology, anthropology, history, historic preservation, and cultural resource management.

Session proposals with topics related to these fields must be received by January 15th, 2022. Organizers are encouraged to consider topics that will reach a diverse audience of conference attendees in a format suitable for both in-person and virtual delivery.

Proposals should be submitted using the form found at the link below with questions directed to Katelyn Foley at [email protected]. Proposal:

Image: The Fort Hall Replica at the Bannock County Historical Museum in Pocatello will serve as an event venue during the 2022 conference.

To learn more about the Idaho Heritage Conference visit:

#conference #IHC2022 #IdahoHeritage #Idaho #IdahoHistory #HeritageTourism #Idahome #VisitIdaho #Pocatello
New Year, New You...
Every New Year millions resolve to continue good practices, accomplish a goal, or turn over a new leaf. In 2022 we hope that some of you consider making preservation and thoughtful rehabilitation of a historic building your objective.

Last year, the new owner of the Bernard Haas House in Weiser did just that. Constructed in 1903 and designed by noted architects Tourtellotte and Hummel, the Queen Anne-styled home at 377 E. Main Street was divided into several apartments and covered in ugly metal siding when Kelly and Lindsay Bartholomeus chose to invest in both the house and its original architectural elements. While relatively unaltered when listed in the National Register in 1978, the Haas House had subsequently suffered from a lack of maintenance and inappropriate alterations.

Throughout 2021, Lindsay and Kelly systematically restored the exterior of the house and renovated the interior for contemporary single-family residential use. Metal siding was removed, and the original exterior siding underneath was repaired and repainted. On the interior, work included stripping and refinishing the original fir floors, protection of the grand staircase, the introduction of a modern kitchen, and replacement of wiring, plumbing, and fixtures.

They took this historic home from drab to fab with a sensitive rehabilitation of a National Register-listed property. The spectacular result is not just an investment in a historic house, but an investment in the history of Weiser.

To learn more about preservation best practices visit the National Park Service to review the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties: and their “How to Preserve Historic Properties” section:

Have any questions about best practices, give us a call!

#historicpreservation #diy #rehab #historic #historichomes #circaoldhouses #oldhouses #dreamhouse #circaoldhousesID #weiserID #idahome #visitidaho #fearnofixer #designed
That's a wrap...
Thank you all for following our social media accounts during 2021. We wish everyone a happy and healthy 2022. Here are our top nine Instagram posts of the past year.
In Memoriam...
Over the course of the past year Idaho lost several significant historic buildings. Despite the efforts of Idaho’s statewide historic preservation community, irreplaceable landmarks are too often vulnerable to arson, natural disaster, neglect, and demolition for redevelopment. While it’s impossible to know how many historic Idaho places were destroyed in 2021, here are 3 whose loss will be distinctly felt:

The Hamer Store (1910-2021)
The Hamer Store was constructed in 1910 by Manford Turman and Mel Nielsen who used local lava rock in its construction. The building had served as a store, post office, cafe, bar, and dance hall over its lifetime. On December 23rd a fire broke out, destroying Hamer's oldest building.

The Travis Apartments (1937-2021)
The Travis was financed by Kentuckians Thesdie and Leila Feltner who also established Feltner Memorial Monuments at 17th and Main in Boise. The couple constructed the Art Deco style building in 1937 along with private garage space for each of the ten units. Eligible for listing in the National Register as a rare example of Art Deco-style residential architecture and for its association with the pre-World War II development in Boise, this historic affordable housing was demolished on September 20th to allow for the construction of high-end condos.

Bear Lake County Courthouse (1884-2021)
Designed by noted Salt Lake City architect T.O. Angell and constructed in 1884, this Italianate style courthouse represented the efforts of Idaho’s Territorial Government, which had recently passed the Idaho Test Oath, to exercise control over Mormon-dominated Bear Lake County. The courthouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Despite efforts by locals and preservationists from Idaho and Utah, the Bear Lake County Courthouse in Paris, Idaho was demolished on February 19th and replaced by an empty lot.

Do you know of any other historic properties that we have lost this past year?

#InMemoriam #Idaho #LostIdaho #IdahoHistory #History #HistoricPreservation #Designed #Architecture #historicarchitechture #savingplaces #demolished #historymatters #historyinpictures #history #preservation

The SHPO encourages the preservation, documentation, and use of Idaho cultural resources. Idaho Stage Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) educates the public about the importance of Idaho’s cultural heritage.

Idaho’s historic, archaeological, and cultural resources represent the physical and tangible manifestations of our history; they reflect who we were, where we came from, where we are now, and help shape our outlook for the future. By protecting, preserving, and understanding these important resources, we span the past, the present, and the future, not as separate events or periods, but as an ongoi

Operating as usual


Picking up the pieces...
Items stored at ASI’s repositories can be from sites associated with notable people in Idaho’s history.

Arthur De Wint Foote (1849-1933) was a notable engineer in the west, responsible for the initial design of the New York Canal here in Idaho. Mary Hallock Foote (1847-1938), his wife, was a notable author and illustrator. The couple lived in Idaho while Arthur traveled working as a mining engineer, mine manager, and surveyor. Eventually, the couple retired to Grass Valley, California.

The pickaxe featured in this photo is from property related to the Foote couple. Artifacts in this collection span personal items, household items, food remains, to construction items.

Collection Information: Corp of Engineers

Photo Description: Rusted pickaxe head, the pickaxe is missing its handle. Pickaxe laying on white background.


I heard it on a podcast...
Listen to Outreach Historian Dan Everhart on the @oldidahopenitentiary's Behind Gray Walls podcast to learn more about the historic U.S. Assay Office, which is now home to the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office.

Photo: "Public Buildings - US Assay Office," 68-57-62, @IdahoStateArchives


Thanks for stopping by Ada County Development Services!


I am the Lorax…
We are saddened to announce that one of the beloved silver maple trees on the historic U.S. Assay Office grounds will be felled this week after 150 years. In 2021, a certified arborist performed a tree assessment on our grounds and determined that the two silver maples planted by Boise pioneers had a “moderate to high-risk” rating—with the one along Main Street noted as having advanced decay in its trunk. After the snow in early May, the tree lost another large branch and damaged the historic fence that surrounds the grounds. In light of this incident and the arborist’s report, the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS) will be removing the tree due to health and safety concerns.

In a 1931 column titled “Inanimated Interviews: The Assay Office Speaks” by the Idaho Statesman, the Assay Office said--“I like those trees. They are the finest trees in Boise, lithe, graceful reaching delicate arms high into the sky. They are like poems…" and we couldn’t agree more.

The ISHS and the Foundation for Idaho History began fundraising in 2021 to restore elements of the historic landscape and introduce new amenities including an interpretive path with signage and benches. With the support of The Land Group, Inc., Idaho SHPO staff developed a project that will preserve and maintain important features of the site – including the legacy trees which shade it – while enhancing the experience of the grounds for the public. New trees will be planted to maintain our tree canopy, and historic formal planting beds will be recreated to introduce seasonal color to the site. Ornamental shrubs and planter beds along the historic fence line will be refurbished and missing street trees will be restored. While saddened to lose one of our remaining historic maples, we are committed to restoring the historic tree canopy around our National Historic Landmark.

To make a contribution to the Assay Office Landscape project visit: and select “My donation is for: Assay Office Landscape..” To provide in-kind donations please contact Diana Burrell at 208.514.2310 or [email protected].

Photos from Idaho State Historic Preservation Office's post 05/23/2022

Glazed and confused...
Are you glazed and confused about why the Archaeological Survey of Idaho (A.S.I.) would preserve ceramic fragments?

Archaeologists use items that may be broken or discarded to understand more about places and peoples through time.

These ceramic fragments are from an old mining ghost town in Idaho. While they may seem insignificant, these ceramic fragments offer insight into the diversity of mining history in Idaho. As part of ASI’s mission to support research, these fragments can aid researchers in their understanding of Asian Americans and their role in Idaho’s mining history.

The first set of fragments is from a small cup. The floral design is hand-painted. The second set of fragments is from a bowl. This bowl features a maker’s mark on the bottom. Maker’s marks can be used to date a vessel, this is due to changes in maker’s marks over time by specific manufacturers.

Photo Description: Four ceramic fragments from a mining ghost town in Idaho. Ceramics are broken but have been photographed fitting together. The first ceramic fragments are from a small white cup. On the outside of the cup, there is a hand-painted purple flower with two different shades of green for the stem and leaves. The second ceramic fragments are from a light blue bowl. The ceramic fragments from the bowl are dirty. On the underside of the bowl, there is a dark blue ceramic maker’s mark, the mark is incomplete due to the bowl being broken.

Photos from Idaho State Historic Preservation Office's post 05/21/2022

The Union Block, located in downtown Boise on Idaho St, boasts a Romanesque Revival style. Designed by John E. Tourtellotte in 1899, and constructed in 1902 by J.W. Smith, this rough-cut sandstone building has housed a plethora of businesses. Some of these businesses included a bank, barbershop, and even a roller rink!

In the 1990s, a rehabilitation project on the Union Block began.

Brooklynn Allen selected these photos from the slide scanning and digitization project.

Photo 1: before rehabilitation
Photo 2: during rehabilitation, note the new storefronts.


Now Hiring...
The City of Boise, a Certified Local Government and preservation partner of the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office is hiring a Sr. Historic Preservation Planner. This position will oversee and perform independent, professional planning work to promote and regulate the preservation, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of historic structures within the city. This preservation professional will assist property owners and design professionals in the planning and permitting process within the city’s historic districts. In addition, this role will provide professional and technical assistance to the Historic Preservation Commission.

As a Certified Local Government (CLG), Boise has shown a commitment to historic preservation for 40 years. They have done this by adopting a local ordinance, creating a historic preservation commission, and promoting historic preservation priorities. The CLG program is a dynamic partnership between local governments, the SHPO, and the National Park Service. It assists local communities in preserving their unique historic character and provides technical assistance and small grants to local governments. The CLG program gives local communities a more active level of participation in the National Register of Historic Places program and a greater say in any federally funded projects in their area.

Photo: O'Rouark House, 1710 E. Warmsprings Ave., 1957

Watch this reel by idahoshpo on Instagram 05/19/2022

Watch this reel by idahoshpo on Instagram

Notes from a Know-It-All...
Do you follow us on Instagram? If you don't, then you are missing out on our fabulous new series "Notes from a Know-It-All" on Instagram Reels.

Watch this reel by idahoshpo on Instagram Idaho SHPO posted on Instagram: “Notes from a Know-it-all with Dan Everhart Episode: Son of a Preacher Man Weiser, Idaho …” • See all of @idahoshpo's photos and videos on their profile.


Digging In...
The items we leave behind, tell a story. Not only do items show where people have lived, but they offer a glimpse into our lives. Objects show what activities or work was done, what kind of foods were eaten, or what kind of clothes were worn.

Have you ever asked where these artifacts are stored?

Let’s dig into the Archaeological Survey of Idaho (A.S.I)!

ASI manages the long-term conservation and preservation of archaeological and archival records. ASI is comprised of three regional repositories across Idaho. The Idaho State Historical Society manages one of these repositories. Artifacts relating to culture and history are stored by different Archaeological Survey of Idaho repositories for research and education purposes.

Along with managing repositories, ASI establishes standards for research, education, and outreach through access to collections and educational programming. Items stored offer researchers the opportunity to access information acquired from stored collections.

For more information on ASI and Idaho Repositories visit

Photo Description: Rusted shovel with partial handle fragment. Shovelhead has rivets affixing shovel blade to the collar and handle. The shovel is in long-term curation with the Western Repository. This shovel is from a mining ghost town in Idaho.
Collection Information: Sawtooth Research, 1964

Videos (show all)




210 Main Street
Boise, ID

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 5pm
Tuesday 8am - 5pm
Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 5pm

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