Construction of the Idaho Building at 8th and Bannock in 1910 marked Boise's entrance into the skyscraper era, according to Preservation Idaho.
W.E. Pierce, a real estate man who founded the Bank of Star and the Boise and Interurban rail system, hired Chicago architect Henry John Schlacks to design the building. Schlacks apprenticed under Louis Sullivan, a key figures in the development of modern architecture.
The Idaho Building, which had its own centennial in 2010, reflected an aspirational spirit at a time when Boise was thriving. The city's population tripled from 6,000 to 18,000 between 1900 and 1910.
Many of the notable features of the Idaho Building are still visible, including a high-ceilinged lobby and arched entryway with crown moldings. Floors in the lobby and hallways are small, green and white hexagonal tiles. The baseboards in the hallways are marble. Double-hung sash windows and an old-style elevator remain.
The building opened its doors just four years after the San Francisco earthquake and fire. An article in the Idaho Daily Statesman made much of the then-new Idaho Building's sturdy steel and cast iron construction. Heavy layers of fireproofing wrap its columns.
The Idaho Building fell out of style in the 1970s, but unlike many of its contemporaries, it escaped the wrecking ball.
The local company Parklane Management Co., headed by Ken Howell, converted the building to mixed-use in the 1990s. That includes apartments on the top floors.
Residents enjoy geothermal heat, a sense of stepping back in time and front doors with glass windows like something out of a film noir. At one point, a resident wrote "Sam Spade" on the cloudy glass of his front door, harking back to the fictional detective who would have felt at home on 8th Street.
280 N. 8th St.
Anna Webb: 377-6431