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Arts & Culture

Here's The History Of The 1928 Boise Bandshell That Partially Burned Monday

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Dana Oland
/
Idaho Statesman
Boise Fire Department crews responded to the fire Monday night at the Gene Harris bandshell in Julia Davis Park.

The fire was reported at the Gene Harris Bandshell in Julia Davis Park around 8:15 p.m. Monday. The red, Spanish revival roof was damaged in the fire, but the extent of the damage isn’t clear yet. Tuesday, fire investigators determined the cause was man-made but aren’t sure whether the fire was set on purpose. Boise police are now handling the investigation.

City historian Brandi Burns says the structure has a 90-year legacy in the park and opened with a big party in July of 1928.

“The event included several solo songs and several pieces from what they called the Boise Male Quartet," says Burns, "and a band program that played about 12 songs. They even had an intermission. It was a big show.”

Burns says the architect was inspired by the style of the iconic Boise Depot just a few years earlier.

“So when they finished the [Boise] Depot, it really inspired a flurry of similar houses and other commercial buildings to be constructed in that style.”

She says the bandshell was renamed after jazz musician Gene Harris in 2000.

Now, the bandshell is fenced off as the city prepares to clean and restore it  – with the hope that it can soon be reopened.
 

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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