5 St. Lukes FitOne min

Boise, Idaho – Capitol Boulevard


5 St. Lukes FitOne min
Unknown 2
Unknown 1
Unknown 4
5 St. Lukes FitOne min Unknown 2 Unknown 1 Unknown 4

Running through the heart of downtown Boise is Capitol Boulevard, a main street fit for a state capital. In fact, the designers of downtown were inspired by the wide promenades of Europe, like the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Capitol Boulevard was laid out so that pedestrians could view the grand State Capitol building at one end and the Spanish-style Boise Depot, built in 1925, at the other. In the background loom Boise’s spectacular foothills.

There’s a lingering challenge, though, that faces the downtowns of many western cities. Space — there’s so much of it. This being the West, there’s an abundance of land, so streets can be made long and wide. This makes it difficult to achieve the density that invites people to live, work and play in the same downtown. In other words, there needs to be a there there.

And now there is. The magic ingredient for bringing people to Capitol Boulevard and its adjacent neighborhoods has not just been good food, of which there is plenty here; it has also been providing a variety of fun for people of all ages. Boise planners and citizens have worked hard to create a vibrant downtown, where residents and visitors can explore the attractions on foot while keeping the area’s dramatic natural endowments in full view.

The arts are everywhere. Every spring there’s the Treefort Music Fest, a five-day downtown extravaganza where live music happens on outdoor stages, in clubs and in popup venues, along with comedy and indie film showings. Also sponsored by Treefort is Onebeat, where 25 young musicians from 17 countries descend on downtown for two ear-opening days in October.

Near Capitol Boulevard is Julia Davis Park, which hosts Art in the Park each September. The Children’s Art Tent is a big attraction, as kids create colorful paper collages and paint abstract art pieces. And every First Thursday of the month, the downtown comes alive with special events, tastings, in-store events, art and often live music, organized by the Downtown Boise Association.

For many years, the unique Fettuccine Forum has been a monthly gathering hosted by the city Department of Arts and History, “where a wide range of political, cultural and local issues are given a public parsing by politicians, artists, historians, activists, advocates and professionals,” notes Boise Weekly. Boise values an engaged citizenry — and with Capitol Boulevard as the centerpiece of its lively downtown, there really is a vibrant there here.

All photos provided by Rizen Creative and Fahlgren Mortine
Primary photo taken by St. Luke’s FitOne.
Capitol Table and Capitol Boulevard night photos taken by Josh Roper Photography

Read More  

DBE604 min

Wallace, Idaho – Bank Street

Main Streets 2016: Idaho

Local business has always been the lifeblood of Wallace, Idaho, a tiny city — the last U.S. Census counted its population as 784 — that nonetheless has a sparkling spot in history. Sitting alongside the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River, Wallace is the principal town of the Coeur d’Alene silver-mining district, where more silver has been extracted than anywhere else in the U.S. That’s why Wallace is known as the “Silver Capital of the World,” and why every building in its central historic district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the resource-rich mountains nearby attracted prospectors and immigrants from around the globe, who worked in the silver mines and established their own small businesses, many on Bank Street. You can still visit several of Wallace’s historic brick buildings, which were built in 1890 after a fire destroyed much of the central business district. This mining town attracts thousands of outdoor enthusiasts each year, thanks to its area’s motherlode of world-class hiking trails, bike paths and neighboring ski resorts.

Against a backdrop of stunning mountains and lush, green forests, visitors stand on Bank Street at what a local mayor once proclaimed as “The Center of the Universe.” A manhole cover at that spot now bears the legend, “Center of the Universe. Wallace, Idaho.”

Wallace has several history museums that recall its vivid past. At the west end of Bank Street, the Wallace District Mining Museum and Visitor’s Center traces the growth of the mining industry. It also has a special exhibit on Ed Pulaski, a forest ranger who rescued 38 men in 1910 during the largest wildfire in U.S. history.

Along with preserving much of its Old West charm, Wallace is home to a growing food and beverage scene, with its historic 1313 Club saloon and Wallace Brewing Company on Bank Street and Smokehouse Barbeque and Saloon across the street at the corner of 6th Street. Bank Street is dotted, as well, with microbreweries, antique stores, jewelers and other independent businesses.

Like many small towns, Wallace knows how to throw fun community events, especially in the summer. The Annual Street Fair brings together artists, entertainers and vendors each June, and every August locals take to the streets to run the Huckleberry Festival 5K.

Huckleberry Festival 5K photo courtesy of Historic Wallace Chamber of Commerce

Read More