by Amy Merrill
Boise's iconic Masonic Temple was singled out as one of Idaho's so-called "orchids" on May 19 in a unique ceremony showcasing the Gem State's monuments to historic preservation. Unfortunately, the ceremony also included an "onion" to mark the demolition of the century-old Linger House in Idaho Falls.
The 91-year-old Masonic Temple, at the corner of 10th and Bannock streets, also played host to the 35th annual Preservation Idaho Orchids and Onions Awards Ceremony. The temple was the 2012 recipient of the Heritage Stewardship award, acknowledging the institution's dedication to preservation.
The Idaho Historic Preservation Council decided to honor the temple, even though no application was submitted on the building's behalf. Dan Everhart, the treasurer of the board of Preservation Idaho, said an exception was made for the Masonic Temple for its commitment to history.
While the orchid award was the highest distinction awarded by Preservation Idaho, the board also gave its annual onion, for the demolition of the Linger House in Idaho Falls.
“There was really no obvious necessity for getting rid of the Linger House ... just to put in surface parking," said Everhart. "It’s the ultimate insult when that demolition is for parking.”
The full list of the 2012 Orchid and Onion awards recipients can be found at preservationidaho.org.