Preservation of Idaho historic sites pays off

The Old Ada County Courthouse now has new life as a University of Idaho law library and education center.
The Old Ada County Courthouse now has new life as a University of Idaho law library and education center. Preservation Idaho

Preservation Idaho has revealed its annual list of great successes, as well as one failure in statewide historic preservation. This year’s sole “onion” goes to Jefferson County for the destruction of what historians said was an architecturally significant courthouse in Rigby. The courthouse, razed earlier this spring, was built in 1938. Boise winners include St. John’s Cathedral, the Old Ada County Courthouse and more.

Orchids are awarded in various categories. The 2016 orchid recipients are:

In the category “Contribution to Historic Preservation,” to Scott Roberts at CTA Group and Luke Schroeder, superintendent, for the 1941-era L.A. Thomas Memorial Gymnasium in Kimberly, Idaho; to James Glancey of Glancey Rockwell and Associates and the Peterson Family for restoration of a 1903 Queen Anne home in Boise; to the State of Idaho Department of Administration, Division of Public Works, LKV Architects and the Idaho Law and Justice Learning Center for the restoration of the Old Ada County Courthouse in Boise, a 1938 Works Progress Administration building.

In the category “Preservation-Sensitive New Construction,” to St. John’s Cathedral and Russ Phillips at INSIGHTartchitects for the church parking lot and playground in Boise.

In the category “Cultural Heritage Preservation,” to Stan Cole at Cole Architects, Boise State University Construction Management Department, the National Park Service, and the Friends of Minidoka for the restoration of a guard tower at the Minidoka Japanese Internment Camp near Jerome; to “Those Big Old Barns newspaper story and interactive tour,” by Mychel Mattews at the Times-News newspaper Twin Falls

Mary H. Williams was named “Distinguished Preservationist” for 20 years with the USDA Forest Service in the Bitterroot Wilderness and Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness preserving ranger stations and historic orchards.

Barbara Dawson was named “Friend of Preservation” for a 10 year civil service volunteer position with City of Boise Historic Preservation Commission and her work with teaching realtor training courses.

“Heritage Stewardship” orchids went to Henry Whiting for the careful caretaking of Idaho’s only Frank Lloyd Wright building, Teater’s Knoll, in Bliss and to Cindy Schacher and the 2015 Fire Management Team, Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest for the careful preparation to protect important historic forest resources near Kooskia.

Dan Everhart, who recently left Boise to take a position in Portland, Ore. with Restore Oregon, will receive a “Special Award of Recognition” for 12 years of service in advocacy and preservation on behalf of Preservation Idaho.

Preservation Idaho will host a luncheon and awards ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 21 at the historic Ada County Courthouse on Jefferson Street downtown Boise. Additionally, there will be a historic walking tour of the neighborhood at 10:30 a.m. Get tickets online through Eventbrite. Amy Pence-Brown is this year’s master of ceremonies. Call 208-424-5111 for more information.