11th and Bannock Park Site
Westside Downtown Boise is an evolving neighborhood that lacks adequate public space amenities for the growing population of residents and businesses. The public voiced a need for parks and public spaces in Westside Downtown during public workshops in 2016. The resulting master plan, City of Boise’s Downtown Parks and Public Spaces Master Plan, embodied this input by recommending the creation of a distinctive urban open space near the intersection of 11th Street and Bannock Street. A public-private partnership in 2019 between CCDC, The City of Boise, and Eleven Eleven West Jefferson, LLC, has made possible the ability to create that distinctive space for Boise residents and workers to enjoy.
The Westside Downtown Urban Park will provide a place for people to connect with the outdoors on a daily basis, serve as a hub for community events, and enhance the urban lifestyle of downtown employees, residents, shoppers and visitors.
The park site is surrounded by surface parking lots that detract from downtown’s vibrancy, walkability and economic vitality. Making this public investment will catalyze private investment in housing, dining, office, and neighborhood services next to and near the public park.
Situated along a bicycle corridor to and from downtown, the park will provide amenities that enhance the downtown pedestrian and cycling experience with streetscape improvements and key features including:
- A large, tree-lined green space
- Public art
- Shaded seating
- New streetscapes along all three street frontages
- Pedestrian alley with limited auto access
- Public restrooms
- Places to store bikes
The project development budget is $4,305,000. This includes all planning, design, soft costs, and construction costs associated with building the park, parking lot and surrounding streetscapes.
On June 4, 2021 Mayor Lauren McLean announced that the City of Boise plans to name this park in honor of political trailblazer and fifth-generation Idahoan Cherie Buckner-Webb.
Inspiration for the park name came directly from citizen submissions gathered during a public engagement process earlier this year. A group of project stakeholders tasked with sorting through the more than 1,200 name ideas identified the submission and support the mayor’s decision to name the park in Buckner-Webb’s honor. Before the park name is final, it will be considered by the Boise Parks and Recreation Commission and Boise City Council for approval. This process is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.
Photo by Brooke Buron © Boise City Department of Arts & History
The Boise City Department of Arts & History gathered information about the history of the 11th and Bannock site and surrounding area in light of this project. Research shows the city block located between N. 11th and N. 12th Streets and W. Idaho and W. Bannock Streets in downtown Boise was initially populated with dwellings. During the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century, the area existed primarily as a residential neighborhood. As the twentieth century progressed the area began to transition away from its roots as a residential neighborhood and support more commercial activities. By 1949 no dwellings were left on the block between N. 11th and N. 12th Streets and W. Idaho and W. Bannock Streets, and the area was occupied by the El Korah Shrine Temple, a YMCA, multiple automobile sales and service businesses and a parking lot. The blocks surrounding this core area of interest also began as predominately residential neighborhoods and gradually transformed into commercial areas. By the end of the 1940s the area contained a number of automobile sales businesses and service garages. In addition to automobile businesses the area included the Empire Building (N. 10th and W. Idaho St.), the Hitchcock Building (N. 11th and W. Idaho St.), Summers Funeral Home (N. 12th and W. Bannock St.), Link’s Modern Business College (1000 block of W. Idaho St.), and the Boise Bowling Center (first at 909 W. Bannock St. and then at 1212 W. Idaho St). In 1971 Boise Plaza was built at 1111 W. Jefferson Street.
Read the full report and in-depth site research by the Arts & History team.
In December 2019, Boise City Council approved the selection of public artist Matthew Mazzotta. The recommendation came from the Capital City Development Corporation Board, the Arts & History Commission and the artist selection committee. Mazzotta hosted an “outdoor living room” session in January 2020 to gather public input and learn more about the space and the vision residents have for the area. Mazzotta used this feedback to develop two public art design concepts that were presented to the community for feedback. A public feedback survey form was released by Boise City Department of Arts & History during the week of July 20th and closed on July 31st. Nearly 200 comments were collected, with a majority of comments in favor of the “Gentle Breeze” design option. The design concept and public feedback were presented to and approved by the community-based selection panel, the CCDC Board, the Arts & History Commission, and Boise City Council. Mazzotta’s work will be completed in tandem with the construction of the Westside Downtown Urban Park.
Gentle Breeze Rendering by Matthew Mazzotta
Input from the community regarding park design, amenities and features began in June 2018 with a public open house held across the street from the park site and coordinated by Boise Parks and Recreation. Additionally, a public survey was conducted to receive feedback from interested people unable to attend the open house. Results from the open house and survey show the following priorities from Boise residents:
- A majority of participants wanted to see an interactive public art feature that connects to the park’s role as an oasis amid an active, urban environment
- A desire for a sustainable, low cost, low maintenance water feature, such as a fog feature element was desired by participants
- Trees and shade, native plants and flexible event space were also top priorities
- Food/dining was a theme often mentioned by participants
Construction of the Westside Downtown Urban Park began in October 2020 with demolition of the parking lot and adjacent streetscapes along 11th Street, 12th Street and Bannock Street. The contractor will focus on the reconstruction of the parking lot improvements during the first phase while also installing streetscape utilities and Silva cells for the new street trees. The next phase will include installing the underground utilities and rough grading for the park. Crews will then pour the concrete sidewalks around the perimeter of the park and pour the remaining concrete features within the plaza dining area. Public art installation, installation of furnishings and landscaping will come last. The park is anticipated to be substantially complete by the end of May 2021 with final completion anticipated mid-June 2021. We will continue to update the public on progress at the site as construction moves forward.
For project specific questions or concerns, please contact CCDC Project Manager Amy Fimbel.
Aerial Construction Photo 2/8/2021. Courtesy of CCDC.