From Art Deco To Modern Condo: Downtown Boise Building Facing Demolition

Apr 8, 2019

An apartment building dating to the late 1930s in Boise is facing the wrecking ball. As the city’s downtown continues to grow, the old apartment house could become condos.

The Travis Apartments west of downtown Boise are three stories, have 10 one-bedroom units and are replete with art deco details. Embellishments highlighting the vertical lines of the building reflect the streamlined aesthetic of the style that reached its peak in the years before WWII.

The owner of the Travis Apartments, Creed Herbold, tells the Statesman he thought about renovating the building, but changed his mind. Citing an old electrical system and the fact the building takes up a small portion of the entire lot it’s on, Herbold wants to tear down the apartments and replace them with condos.

Herbold has applied to replace the 1937 building with a five-story structure that would have both business space and 22 residential units. He says members of the local neighborhood association support his redevelopment plan for the property.

Historic conservationists are disturbed by the plan. Paula Benson, the leader of Preservation Idaho, says Herbold’s claim the building is too old and beyond repair is unsupported. Benson says the Travis Apartments are a rare example of Art Deco in Boise and that the structure’s architectural significance warrants saving it.

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