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Politics & Government

Boise City Council Creates New Historic District To Safeguard Stately Home

Matt Guilhem
Boise State Public Radio

The Boise City Council created a new historic district Tuesday evening. Located on the fringes of downtown, the designation for the area is another step in protecting a stately home many considered threatened in the summer.

In August, the Boise City Council enacted an ordinance that put a 182-day moratorium in place to explore options for saving the Eoff House. Built in 1897, the striking Victorian mansion in the Queen Anne style sits at 140 Main Street just east of downtown.

After the owner of the home said he was considering demolishing the place, the city and the preservation community sprang into action. Their efforts paid off Tuesday night when the council decided to designate the area around the Eoff House a historic district.

Paula Benson, the board president of Preservation Idaho, is pleased.

“It was a unanimous vote by the city council, so we’re very appreciative,” says Benson. “We hope this is a recognition by the city government as to how you can preserve some of the historic buildings and create this nice balance of old and new.”

According to Benson, the local designation doesn’t prevent the home from being destroyed but it establishes criteria that must be met for demolition.

“What this does is it just puts protections in place,” Benson says. “It is saying if you need to make changes there are guidelines you have to follow. And if you did want to demolish, then there’s a very high bar you would have to justify in order to get a demolition permit.”

The owner of the Eoff House hasn’t weighed in on the city council decision.

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