I Wonder: Why is it OK to spray paint the Boise "B?"

I Wonder: Why is it OK to spray paint the Boise

Credit: Don Day/KTVB.COM

The Boise B on Table Rock shines above Boise, and the people in charge of the large concrete character say they're OK with the periodic spray painting


by Don Day KTVB.COM

Bio | Email | Follow: @DonLDay


Posted on October 25, 2009 at 2:57 PM

I wonder who is in charge of the Boise B - it always seems to be a different color.

Near the Table Rock Cross, perched on the hillside is a giant concrete B. It was originally placed there in 1931 by Boise resident Ward Rolfe and a group of his high school buddies.

"In those days, the Depression was on full bore, jobs were as scarce as hen's teeth," Rolfe told Alyson Oten in 2006. "We decided to do something for the community, so that's when we built the B."

Nearly 80 years later, the B still stands watch of the City of Trees, but it's gone through lots of changes. It now is a large concrete surface - but it began as a trench filled with rocks.

Rolfe painted that first B white - but with the changing of the seasons, and in the advancing years, the B has changed colors countless times. In the past few weeks, the letter has been painted blue and red and even green. (Someone even tried to turn the B into an E - with not so great results).

The B is placed on property owned by the State of Idaho, and under the purview of the Idaho State Historical Society. But the constant painting and re-painting isn't a concern.

"It's not a safety hazard or anything," spokesperson Janet Gallimore said. "It's kind of a tradition, the kind of thing that the community does."

Gallimore says the Historical Society relies on people to keep all property safe and clean - and in this case, there haven't been any problems. A Boise Police spokesperson echoes that - and says they have not received any vandalism complaints in recent years.

In 2006, Rolfe said he prefers a bright white B. He said it's the only color that really stands out from a distance.

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