Historic Boise home will be destroyed so another can be saved

Credit: Matt Standal / KTVB

Knudsen's 1905 Dutch Colonial Revival house

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by Matt Standal

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBMatt

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 8:19 AM

BOISE -- One of Boise's most historic homes will be moved to a new location by the end of the year. There's only one catch: another historic home now has to be demolished to make way.

Construction boss Morris Knudsen built his unique home on Franklin Street more than 100 years ago.

The Nebraska native settled here in Idaho. His company, Morrison-Knudsen, went on to build the Hoover Dam, Oakland's Bay Bridge and the Alaska Pipeline, among many other projects.

Yet, Knudsen's historic home -- as nice as it is -- isn't as permanent as his legacy. The 1905 Dutch Colonial Revival house at 603 Franklin Street has to make way for the state of Idaho's new parking garage currently under construction.

Boise City Council President Maryanne Jordan says the state sold the home to a buyer who wanted to move it just a few blocks down Franklin Street. The plan called for demolishing another historic home and putting the Knudsen home in its place.

The plan would prove to be tricky.

That's because Boise's Historic Preservation Commission intervened and tried to save the second historic home at 812 West Franklin Street. The commission voted in an August meeting to deny new owner Burrit Boynton's plan to demolish the home.

Barbara Dawson is the vice chair of the Boise Historic Preservation Commission. She said the commission operates under guidelines meant to save historic homes, not demolish them.

"Our charge is to preserve the historic fabric, the buildings, the sites," Dawson told KTVB.

However, Boise's City Council ultimately overruled that decision. Tuesday's meeting found approval for the plan.

Council President Maryanne Jordan said it was a rare move for the council.

"It was a very unusual request," Jordan told KTVB. "We've not had something like this come before."

The private buyer now has until December 31, 2013 to pay to move the Knudsen home and demolish the second.

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