J&M Land, the company that owns the Boise Armory, is digging around the base of the 84-year-old building in order to install bigger windows to the basement, said Sarah Schafer, the city of Boise’s design review and historic preservation manager.
The bigger windows will let more light into the basement and give more room for emergency exits, Schafer said. J&M isn’t doing this at the behest of a specific client, Schafer said. Instead, the effort is aimed at making the Armory more attractive to prospective tenants.
The armory was built in 1931, a New Deal-era project for the National Guard, which occupied the building until the mid-1970s. After that, it belonged to the state of Idaho, which sold it to the city of Boise in 1993. Though at least one tenant signed a lease to occupy the building, it has been empty since the 1980s.