Three houses that tell part of Boise's history are being saved overnight Thursday as St. Luke's makes way for the next phase of its redevelopment project.
Multiple agencies and organizations teamed up to save the historic buildings and at the last minute found them a temporary home.
On the site where these homes sat, St. Luke's Boise Medical Center is building a new parking garage, shipping and receiving building and central plant.
The houses are on St. Luke’s property in the historic area of 2nd and Jefferson, next to St. Luke’s Downtown. They had been loaded onto trucks and were on the street by 10 p.m. Thursday to begin the slow trek to their temporary home.
The homes are moving overnight to a lot by the Old Idaho Penitentiary that is leased from the College of Western Idaho until a permanent location is found. Late Thursday, they'll be hauled down 2nd Street, Main Street and Warm Springs Avenue to a site off Goodman Street near the Idaho Botanical Garden.
Preservation Idaho gives a great deal of credit to St. Luke's for voluntarily saving these historic houses instead of tearing them down. Moving them is very time consuming and a huge undertaking, they say.
“Even though we don't like to see them moved we are excited that they are being saved,” Preservation Idaho board member Frank Eld said. “Preservation is not easy but it's important. Because now we've saved a piece of our history here in Boise that'll probably never be threatened again now. So they will have the facility they need and the houses will be saved. So there is a lot of win-win.”
A number of organizations teamed up to save the homes, including St. Luke's, the City of Boise, the moving company, developer Reclaimed Structures, CWI, the State Historical Society, and Preservation Idaho.
Preservationists are currently working with the developer to find and secure future homes, ideally within historic neighborhoods. St. Luke's says once that happens, they'll be restored and put on the market.
Several other houses were already moved and three more will be moved within the next month.