Architect With Firm Designing New Boise Library Slapped With Fine For Not Being Licensed In Idaho

Apr 24, 2019

Rendering of the new Boise Library.
Credit City of Boise

One of the world’s most prominent architects is designing Boise’s new downtown library. Recently revealed documents show a member of the firm was fined for not being licensed to practice architecture in Idaho.


Renowned architect Moshe Safdie designed the proposed $85 million library set to grace the west side of Capitol Boulevard, but a member of his team is the one who filed paperwork with the state.

While bids were still being taken on the project, James Reaves offered architectural services on behalf of Safdie’s firm. They were awarded the contract in February of 2018. Months later, in May, Reaves submitted an application for an Idaho architecture license to the state’s regulatory board.

Offering architectural services without being licensed to practice in the state is a violation of Idaho Code, and Reaves was slapped with $1,100 in fees and fines. When filling out the license application in May of 2018, Reaves answered “yes” to a question asking if he’d previously sought work as an architect in the state.

Safdie’s firm says their policy is to get architects licensed in locations where jobs have been secured. Reaves only put in for the Idaho license after his company won the contract. He tells the Statesman the Idaho policy is prohibitive and that, as written, every outside architect pursuing work in the state would be in violation. Reaves says he heard other firms that bid on the library project also had a problem.

An official with the City of Boise says Reaves’ fine was due to a mix-up and that being licensed in the state wasn’t required to bid on the library.

For more local news, follow the KBSX newsroom on Twitter @KBSX915

Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio