150 Boise Icons: Federal Building/U.S. Post Office

awebb@idahostatesman.comMarch 8, 2013 

boise, 150, post office, downtown

Did you know? When Idaho Public Television made the movie “Assassination: Idaho’s Trial of the Century” about the Haywood Trial and the assassination of Gov. Frank Steunenberg, filmmakers shot the courtroom scenes in the old federal building. The actual 1907 trial took place in the original Ada County Courthouse at 6th and Jefferson.

JOE JASZEWSKI — jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

Now home to the Borah Station Post Office, this building is an anchor of Downtown Boise.

It began life in 1904 as the federal court, brought the offices of several federal agencies that had been scattered through the city under one roof and housed the main post office on 750 W. Bannock St.

Eventually, the federal court moved to Fort Street near the Veterans Administration. The main post office relocated to 13th Street.

During the renovation of the Idaho Capitol from 2007 to 2009, some state offices, including the governor's, moved to this historic building.

Its style is "Beaux Arts," a popular style for public buildings of the period characterized by a tall first story, a grand entrance and arched windows. It has wrought-iron decoration over the doorways and pronounced parapet near the roof.

The north side of the building got an L-shaped addition in 1930 to make room for more agencies.

Other interesting things about the old federal building:

• It was first on which an electric stone saw was used to construct a building in Boise.

• The building's granite steps required the largest block of stone ever quarried in the area.

• For some of us who grew up in Boise, a trip to the Downtown post office meant one thing: checking out the reliably sinister FBI "Most Wanted" poster that hung in its somber, marble lobby.

750 W. Bannock St.

Anna Webb: 377-6431

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