Bestowing local landmark status doesn't guarantee the buildings will never be altered or torn down, but it makes the process harder, Boise historic preservation manager Sarah Schafer said.
If someone wants to significantly change or demolish a landmark, the city activates a 180-day stay during which the applicant, city and - sometimes - outside groups work to find another way. Landowners ask for landmark designations in order to protect their properties, no matter who takes ownership of them in the future.
There's been no real resistance to the landmark applications submitted by St. Michael's and the Christ Chapel Historical Society, so Schafer expects the City Council to approve the request at its meeting Tuesday. The city's Historic Preservation Committee, which reviews proposals for landmarks and changes to buildings in Boise's historic overlay zones, unanimously recommended approval in January.
"It's honorable and the right thing that this is being done in preserving these buildings," committee Vice Chair Barbara Dawson said.
Boise began designating city landmarks in 2010. If all five requests are approved Tuesday, the number will reach 37.
St. Michael's Episcopal Cathedral, located just north of the state Capitol on State Street, was built in 1902. The Bishop Tuttle Memorial House next to the cathedral was designed by local architectural firm Wayland and Fennell. The Grand Army of the Republic Hall is located just east of the cathedral. The building was a venue for regular meetings of the local chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic, a group of Union veterans of the Civil War, until the 1930s. The St. Michael's Carnegie Building at 815 W. Washington St. was built in 1905 and served as Boise's public library until 1973.
The oldest of the buildings is Christ Chapel, built in 1866 on Broadway Avenue just south of the Boise River. Formerly St. Michael's Church, the building served Boise's Episcopal congregation for nearly a century.
All of the buildings are already on the National Register of Historic Places, a designation that recognizes buildings are worthy of preservation but does not restrict private landowners from altering or demolishing them.
Sven Berg: 377-6275