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City Of Boise Pushes Pause So Historic Home Might Be Saved

Matt Guilhem
Boise State Public Radio

The clock is ticking to save a historic home just east of downtown Boise. The city has put a 182-day moratorium in place preventing demolition or alteration of the stately house on West Main Street.

The imposing Victorian home was built in 1897 by the Eoff family. Early in its history, the house served as the residence of Idaho’s eighth governor, James Brady. He was in office from 1909 to 1911. Later, in the 1930s, the home was purchased by the family that still owns it today.

“The craftsmanship in this house is – is magnificent; that would really be the word for it,” says Paula Benson, the board president of Preservation Idaho, which is working with the owner to save the house.

Benson says the current owner is looking to be rid of the property and has been exploring various options. One of those is building condos on the downtown parcel after deconstructing the house.

“You don’t demolish it, but you take it down piece by piece and it gets sold off,” says the preservationist. “It doesn’t end up in the landfill, but it is no longer a home.”

Benson says some of the other possibilities include moving the home and finding a buyer or organization to purchase the house and rehab it.

Following a tour of the historic property by city leaders, they enacted an ordinance providing a 182-day moratorium so every option to save the house can be explored.

Credit Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio
Boise State Public Radio
While the house has been recognized for its historical merit, there are no formal restrictions in place to prevent the old mansion from being razed.

According to Benson, they’re also looking to make a local historic district out of the block on Main Street where the house sits.  The designation allows homeowners to do a range of things with their properties, but it doesn’t let them demolish or significantly alter the building.

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