Fort Street Historic District Walking Tour (Self Guided), Boise

The Fort Street Historic District in Boise, Idaho, contains roughly 47 blocks located within the 1867 plat of Boise City. When the nomination form was prepared in 1982 for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), the district contained 318 buildings. The inventory consisted mostly of houses, but schools, churches, and commercial structures were included. Many structures were designed by Tourtellotte & Hummel, and some were designed by Wayland & Fennell. The district is itself contained within a larger area known locally as Boise's North End Preservation District. ***PH***
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Fort Street Historic District Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Fort Street Historic District Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Boise (See other walking tours in Boise)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 15
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Author: Linda
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Idaho Capitol Building
  • Carnegie Public Library
  • Capitol City Christian Church
  • Minnie Priest Dunton House
  • Alva Fleharty House
  • John Haines House
  • John Daly House
  • T. J. Jones Apartments
  • H. E. McElroy House
  • Walter Abbs House
  • Emmanuel Lutheran Church
  • Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
  • Wolters Double Houses
  • John Parker House
  • Samuel Hays House
1
Idaho Capitol Building

1) Idaho Capitol Building (must see)

"The great white light of conscience must be allowed to shine and by its interior illumination make clear the path of duty." These are the words of John Tourtellotte, the Original Capitol Architect of the Idaho State Capitol building.

John saw light as a metaphor for enlightenment in government. His design for the capitol opened the interior chambers and corridors to shafts of sunlight captured and reflected from polished marble surfaces. The presence of natural light was to serve as a reminder of the need for clarity and morality in government.

In 2005 the Idaho State Capitol Commission was able to commence its plan to preserve and restore John Tourtellotte's creation to its original mission of light.

The overall appearance of the building closely resembles that of the Capitol in Washington DC. There is a central dome and rotunda. The rotunda is supported by classical columns in Ionic, Doric and Corinthian styles. From the central rotunda in both east and west directions are two underground atrium wings.

Glass skylights extend over the central corridors. Senate rooms are in the west wing. House rooms are in the east wing. All bathed in natural light.
2
Carnegie Public Library

2) Carnegie Public Library

The Carnegie Public Library is a Neoclassical building designed by Tourtellotte & Co. and constructed in Boise in 1904–1905.

The Boise Public Library began in 1895 when members of the Columbian Club opened a subscription library and reading room in Boise City Hall. When Boise received a grant in 1904 to build a Carnegie library, local architects John Tourtellotte and Charles Hummel won the design contract, and the local firm of Michels & Weber received the construction contract. Materials included white brick fired in Boise and sandstone from nearby Table Rock. Boise's Carnegie Library opened June 22, 1905, and Mary F. Wood became its first librarian.

In 1973 the Boise Public Library moved to a larger building, formerly occupied by Salt Lake Hardware, at 715 S. Capitol Blvd., and in 1974 the Carnegie Library was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1982 it was included as a contributing property in the Fort Street Historic District.

The building was occupied by a law firm until 2018 when it was repurposed for artists as studio space.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Capitol City Christian Church

3) Capitol City Christian Church

The Capitol City Christian Church, which is listed on the National Historical Registry, was established over 23 years, from 1887 to 1910, as the First Christian Church of the city. It is notable and famous for its unique and marvelous stained glass windows, Romanesque design and for its interior lay-out, known as the Akron Plan. The services and ceremonies are based on the Bible's teachings, the church's purpose being to worship God and bring the idea of God closer to the believers.
4
Minnie Priest Dunton House

4) Minnie Priest Dunton House

The Minnie Priest Dunton House was designed by John E. Tourtellotte and constructed in Boise in 1899. The original Queen Anne design was that of a single family home, but the house was remodeled by Tourtellotte & Hummel in 1913 and became a seven-bedroom boardinghouse with Tudor Revival features.

Dunton named her house "Rosemere" for her rose garden. It was included as a contributing property in the Fort Street Historic District on November 12, 1982. The house was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 17, 1982.

Minnietta "Minnie" Priest Dunton was an early advocate of women's rights in Idaho, and she was appointed Idaho State Librarian in 1907. Her husband, Herbert W. Dunton, served as district attorney for Boise County, Idaho Territory, in the 1880s.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Alva Fleharty House

5) Alva Fleharty House

The Alva Fleharty House in Boise, is a 1+1⁄2-story Queen Ann house designed by Tourtellotte & Co. and constructed by H.A. Palmer and Harrison Bryan in 1902. The house reveals a shingle style influence in its gables and front, 2-story beveled bay. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

A native of Galesburg, Illinois, Alva Fleharty first worked for the Omaha Bee then became foreman of the composing room at the Salt Lake Tribune before moving to Boise in 1901 to manage the composing room and telegraph office at the Idaho Statesman. He worked for the Statesman over two years, but in 1903 when the West Side Index in Newman, California, was for sale Alva and Maude (Chandler) Fleharty purchased the Index and moved to California. At the time, the Flehartys had lived in the Alva Fleharty House less than one year. They sold the house to W.G.M. Allen in 1903.

Fleharty published the Index for 33 years. He died in Turlock, California, in 1947.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
John Haines House

6) John Haines House

The John Haines House is a 2+1⁄2-story Queen Anne style house in the Fort Street Historic District of Boise. Designed by Tourtellotte & Co. and constructed in 1904, the house features a veneer of rectangular cut stone applied to the first story and shingled, flared walls at the second story. Turrets accent the front two corners of the house, and a classical porch with doric columns and a flattened pediment separates the offset main entrance from the street.

It was included as a contributing property in the Fort Street Historic District on November 12, 1982. The house was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 17, 1982.

John M. Haines was a real estate developer and Republican who served as mayor of Boise City 1907-1909 and as Governor of Idaho 1913–1915.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
John Daly House

7) John Daly House

The John Daly House in Boise, Idaho, is a 2-story, Colonial Revival house designed by Tourtellotte & Hummel and constructed in 1910. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

John D. Daly was a prominent banker and real estate owner. He helped to found the Idaho Trust and Savings Bank and the Pacific National Bank (First Security Bank) in Boise, and he had been associated with at least two Oregon banks, the First National Bank in Ontario and the First National Bank in Burns. The Daly Addition, adjacent to the western boundary of the Harrison Boulevard Historic District, was named for John D. Daly.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
T. J. Jones Apartments

8) T. J. Jones Apartments

The T.J. Jones Apartments in Boise, Idaho, is a 2-story, brick and stone building originally designed in 1904 by Tourtellotte & Co. and expanded in 1911 by Tourtellotte and Hummel. The structure features a prominent Queen Anne corner turret, but Renaissance Revival characteristics also were discovered in preparation for adding the building to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

The original design included 12 2-story apartments, and after the building was expanded in 1911, it contained 17 2-story apartments. The foundation and load bearing walls were designed for a 4-story building to be completed at a future date, but the building has remained a 2-story structure.
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
H. E. McElroy House

9) H. E. McElroy House

The H.E. McElroy House in Boise, Idaho, USA, was designed by John E. Tourtellotte and constructed in 1901 in a neighborhood now designated the Fort Street Historic District. The brick veneer, 1+1⁄2-story Colonial design features a rectangular, symmetrical facade with a ridgebeam parallel to the street and an entry porch supported by Doric columns above flared, shingled walls. Dormers and gables are covered with square-cut and fish-scale shingles.

Hugh E. McElroy was a Boise attorney who helped to organize Idaho's Progressive Party. McElroy ran for governor as a Progressive candidate in 1914, but he lost the election to Democrat Moses Alexander.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Walter Abbs House

10) Walter Abbs House

The Walter Abbs House, is a Queen Anne style house designed by Tourtellotte & Co. and constructed in Boise, in 1903. The five room house is part of the Fort Street Historic District, and it was included as a contributing property on November 12, 1982. It was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 17, 1982.

Walter J. Abbs arrived in Boise in 1901 and formed the firm of McGrew & Abbs, abstract researchers, mortgage lenders, and insurance agents. When his business was absorbed by the Boise Title and Trust Co. in 1906, Abbs became general manager and secretary of the new firm. Abbs was an investor in Boise's Abbs Subdivision, and lots on Abbs Street and on Abbs Lane were sold as early as 1917.
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Emmanuel Lutheran Church

11) Emmanuel Lutheran Church

Emmanuel Lutheran Church, also known by its former name, Augustana Chapel, was designed by Charles F. Hummel I and consecrated on September 22, 1915. It is registered in the National Register of Historical Buildings, thanks to its architecture in genuine churchly Gothic style that is preserved in every detail of the establishment. For almost a century it has not changed and continues to spread the Gospel to the Lutheran Community of Boise.
12
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

12) Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, also known simply as St. John’s Cathedral, is a Catholic cathedral in Boise. It is the seat of the Diocese of Boise, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The first Catholic church in Boise was dedicated on Christmas Eve 1870 and was destroyed in a fire 18 days later. Another frame structure was built that would serve as the cathedral of the Vicariate Apostolic of Idaho, established March 5, 1883, and the Diocese of Boise after it was established on August 25, 1893.

St. John’s Cathedral was designed by one of the first architectural firms to work in Boise, Tourtellotte and Hummel. It is built in the Romanesque Revival style and the Cathedral of Mainz in Germany was the model for its design. The stone for the exterior is Boise Sandstone that was quarried just outside of the city at Tablerock. The building is cruciform in shape and measures 170 feet from front to back, 95 feet at the transepts and 65 feet in the nave.
Sight description based on wikipedia
13
Wolters Double Houses

13) Wolters Double Houses

The Wolters Double Houses are two similar bungalows designed by Tourtellotte & Hummel and constructed in Boise in 1908 and 1909. Both houses were built from a single duplex design. Part of Boise's Fort Street Historic District, the two houses were listed on the National Register of Historic Places November 12, 1982.

In 1872 President Grant appointed Albert Wolters superintendent of Boise's new assay office, a position he held until 1883. Wolters then operated smelting and mining operations near Idaho City until 1905, and he returned to Boise in that year to manage his rental properties, building the bungalow at 712-716 N 8th Street in 1908. He constructed the second "double house" at 712-716 N 8th Street in 1909 and occupied one side of the building as his family residence.

Original cost of the properties was estimated at $8500 each.
Sight description based on wikipedia
14
John Parker House

14) John Parker House

The John Parker House in Boise, Idaho, is a 2-story bungalow designed by Tourtellotte & Hummel and constructed in 1911. The house features a sandstone foundation and brick veneer surrounding the first floor, with a half-timber second floor infilled with stucco. An outset front porch is a prominent feature, supporting a gabled roof by two square posts. The hip roof above the second floor includes a single dormer with battered, shingled sides. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

John S. Parker and his brother, Steven Parker, were owners of Boise's Olympic Saloon at 816 Main Street (demolished). In 1909 Parker was president of the Boise Retail Liquor Dealer's Association, and the group drafted a set of seven resolutions to promote decency and morality. Among the resolutions was a prohibition against the "morning free drink."

In 1915 Parker sold the John Parker House to Ernest Noble, and in 1916 Parker bought a saloon in Butte, Montana.
Sight description based on wikipedia
15
Samuel Hays House

15) Samuel Hays House

The Samuel Hays House, was designed by an unknown architect and constructed in 1892 for Samuel H. Hays in Boise. The house was remodeled by Tourtellotte & Hummel 1926-1927 to include six apartments. Part of Boise's Fort Street Historic District, the house was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places November 17, 1982. At the time, the Fort Street Historic District also had been listed November 12, 1982.

Samuel Hays was an attorney who served as Idaho Attorney General during the administration of Governor Steunenberg. Hays also became mayor of Boise in 1916 and served until the 1919 election.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Boise, Idaho

Create Your Own Walk in Boise

Create Your Own Walk in Boise

Creating your own self-guided walk in Boise is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Boise Introduction Walking Tour

Boise Introduction Walking Tour

For thousands of years the tree lined Boise River valley was home to the Shoshone people. They would meet here to trade with other tribes. The valley was congenial and the river full of salmon. It was a holy place for indigenous people.

The name "Boise" originated in the 1820s. The valley was thick with cottonwood trees. French Canadian trappers called it "La riviere boisee"...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles