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Historic Gene Harris Bandshell in Julia Davis Park catches fire

Historic Gene Harris bandshell caught on fire in Julia Davis Park

The Gene Harris Bandshell in Julia Davis Park caught fire on Monday, April 23, shortly after 8 p.m. Three Boise Fire Department engines tried to save one of Boise’s civic treasures, using hoses to get under the Spanish-style ceramic tiles.
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The Gene Harris Bandshell in Julia Davis Park caught fire on Monday, April 23, shortly after 8 p.m. Three Boise Fire Department engines tried to save one of Boise’s civic treasures, using hoses to get under the Spanish-style ceramic tiles.

The historic Gene Harris Bandshell in Julia Davis Park, 700 S. Capitol Blvd., caught fire on Monday, April 23, shortly after 8 p.m.

Three Boise Fire Department engines were called to the site to try to save one of Boise’s civic treasures.

The fire was contained to the roof, with flames lapping out from under the Spanish-style ceramic tiles. Fire crews used high-pressure hoses to get under the tile.

You could hear the sound of the tiles cracking and popping off because of the heat. The fire was contained by 9:30 p.m. Boise Fire tweeted that the structure, though damaged, can be saved.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="enwi"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Damage is not as extensive as we thought when we first arrived on scene. Still assessing, but are hopefull the structure will be able to be saved.</p>&mdash; Boise Fire Dept. (@BoiseFire) <a href="https://twitter.com/BoiseFire/status/988632316355403776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 24, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

This was the first park built in Boise. The original 43 acres was a donation of rancher Thomas Davis as a tribute to his wife Julia, who died of typhoid fever in 1907. Now at 89.4-acres it is the home of Zoo Boise, Boise Art Museum, Idaho State Historical Museum and Idaho Black History Museum.

Built in 1928, the band shell was named for famed jazz pianist Gene Harris in 2001. Harris lived and performed in Boise from the 1970s until his death from complications from diabetes in 2000. He also gave his name to the Boise State Jazz Festival, now known as the Gene Harris Jazz Festival.

Officials said the cause of the fire was unknown as of Monday night.

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