This old neighborhood sits just north of Julia Davis Park, caught in a half-residential, half-commercial limbo in a rapidly urbanizing part of the city.
The borders of Central Addition are Broad Street on its north side, Myrtle Street on its south side, and 2nd and 5th streets on its east and west sides respectively.
Preservation Idaho has had Central Addition in its sights as a "threatened neighborhood" for many years.
The centerpiece of the neighborhood is the Fowler House at 413 S. 5th St. It was once one of Boise's finest houses. It now sits boarded up and vacant. Its owner, Trilogy, a development company that owns other houses on the block, offered the house for free to anyone who would pay to move it. So far, no one has taken the company up on its offer.
Preservationists say the old neighborhood, platted in 1890, matters because it was one of the first subdivisions outside of Boise's original townsite. And it was grand, home to merchants, a Supreme Court justice, a secretary of state, a U.S. marshal and others. It was quiet and elegant, surrounded by fruit orchards. Walk around the neighborhood and you'll still see traces of that grandeur here and there. You'll be able to get a sense of what it once was.
The neighborhood's decline at the turn of the century was rapid. Union Pacific laid track on Front Street. The Central Addition became a less fashionable place to live - just as Warm Springs Avenue was gaining prominence as the new address of choice.
Anna Webb: 377-6431