I Wonder: What's up with the building with the gas station sign?

I Wonder: What's up with the building with the gas station sign?

Credit: KTVB.COM

This new-style Downtown Boise building features an old-style gas station sign out front

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by Don Day
KTVB.COM

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 19, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 12:05 PM

I wonder what that sign is for in front of the building on the corner of 5th and Main streets? It looks like an old gas station sign that starts with a “V.”
-Marc, Boise

Marc is referring to the Veltex Building – a four-story commercial and condo development located in Old Boise. Without the context of history, it may seem a little odd – a modern brick building with a classic orange and blue neon sign planted out front.

The building sprang up in 2004, and now houses a Sterling Savings Bank branch, but for decades the corner gave downtown motorists a place to fuel up their vehicles – selling gas under the Veltex brand. The gas station closed in 1991, and the old building began to show its age. But the vivid neon sign – painted in Bronco Nation’s favorite colors – became a downtown landmark.

Boise’s Clark Development recognized that the Veltex site – right in the heart of downtown – was prime for development. But instead of putting up another generic building, they decided to embrace the Veltex heritage.

The building kept the gas station’s name, and houses a display of Veltex memorabilia. Light fixtures were added with the famous “V,” and of course the original sign was restored and put back up.

The developer signed a long-term lease with Fletcher Oil, which allows them to use the sign and name.

And the Veltex brand isn’t completely gone from area roads. A Ketchum convenience store owned by Fletcher went back to the classic name a few years ago – under the Veltex Market brand, with the orange and blue sign burning brightly in the Wood River Valley as well.

Next week: Why does Boise have a major canal named for New York?

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