East Main Street Historic District

House located in Boise's East Main Street historic district.
House located in Boise's East Main Street historic district.

The East Main Street Historic District is a small district that comprises approximately two blocks in the east downtown area. The district is largely aligned along Main Street, connects to Warm Springs Avenue, and includes two adjacent properties on Idaho Street. The neighborhood was originally established as a residential neighborhood that acted as a gateway to Warm Springs Avenue. The historic homes within the district were constructed from the late 1890s through the early 20th century and attracted some of Boise’s most prestigious residents, including two governors and a congressman.

Though originally a residential neighborhood, the district currently contains a mix of land uses, including office, multifamily, and personal service uses. Visually, the continuity of the streetscape most pronounced by setbacks and landscaping has remained intact.

The neighborhood is architecturally significant for its high proportion of Queen Anne, Georgian, and Colonial Revival structures. Additionally, a majority of the houses were designed by either Tourtellotte and Company or Wayland and Fennell, two prominent architectural firms in Boise during the time period.

East Main Street Historic District At-a-Glance

Historic Designations

  • 1918: Designated as a local historic district by Boise City

Period of Significance: 1890 through early 20th century

Prominent Architectural Styles

  • Queen Anne, Georgian, Colonial Revival

Unique Characteristics

  • Original residential neighborhood for political and industry leaders.

Design Goals

  • Preserve the unique character of the district, ensure that improvements respect the diversity and scale of the construction, and preserve distinctive design characteristics of individual building types and style.

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