Jul 04, 2023

Boise's Masonic Temple to see exterior update; multi

We know more about future plans for the historic Masonic Temple building in Downtown Boise at 10th St. and Bannock St.

The building, which served the Masonic Lodge starting in 1906, was sold in 2021 to Boise company ZWJ Properties. The masons moved to another building off Fairview Ave.

Johnson hired Boise firm Pivot North to revamp the exterior of the building, and prepare the second floor for potential apartment units.

The company completed work on a similar project in Twin Falls – the Elks Building on 2nd Ave. N in 2018.

Boise's lodge building was designated as a historical landmark by the Boise City Council in 2012, with Rennaisance Revival architecture.

"We are proposing exterior improvements that intend to restore much of the ground level façade to its original 1920s appearance and replace windows on the second floor to accommodate a future adaptive reuse," Pivot North wrote in an application letter.

Plans submitted to the City of Boise show that a number of window openings on the second story would be restored, and all windows replaced. The second floor was used as a meeting and events space for a number of local fraternal lodges. Roughly half the windows on 10th Street are bricked in, while all the window openings on Bannock St. are covered.

The application notes that a final use for the second floor has not been finalized, but the plans submitted show the possibility of a small multi-family project. Floor plans show a set of ten studio units, each with a loft area. Each unit would include a small patio that would sit within the outer wall of the building. Metal railings would be added at each window opening.

The ground floor would see large sections of stucco above the existing retail spaces removed. The sandstone that frames the windows would be cleaned and repaired. The stucco panels would be replaced with new aluminum-framed transom windows.

Existing retail spaces and tenants – including The District Coffee House, will remain in place.

While the exterior is being updated with an eye to its historic styling, local group Preservation Idaho criticized the move-out process of the second floor, which allowed members of the public to come and pull materials from the building.

The project will go in front of Boise's Historic Preservation Commission for approval on June 26th.

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