4008 sq. ft.: 4 BD, 3 BA
.14 acre lot
Built in 1911
Group One Real Estate: Stacy Bahrenfuss, 208-373-1073,
As I was taking Preservation Idaho's Heritage Homes Tour last Saturday, I discovered that one of the houses is for sale. It was designed by Tourtellotte and Hummel and built for $6,075 in 1911. Its Colonial Revival style is reflected in the nearly square plan, Tuscan porch columns and the symmetrical, hipped roof profile. The exposed rafter tails, broad pitched roofs and firs floor rough-cut stone veneer are elements of Craftsman style. Moses J. Marks, a German emigre and entrepreneur, commissioned the home and lived in it with his wife Ella, his daughter Rose and his sons Jacob, Isaac and Samuel. He worked in the gold fields of California and Nevada and owned a profitable clothing store in Boise.
The elegant, 3-foot wrought-iron fence surrounding the property attracted me to the yard. The front porch frames a glass door leading into a gracious entry and stairwell. Of course, all the floors are hardwood, and there are dark wood pillars, window and door trim, stairs, newels and balusters throughout the house. The major rooms also have picture rails, and the ceilings are 10 or 12 feet high. The living room has the most beautiful original hanging lamp, as does the dining room and some other rooms in the house. The original windows—a combination of clear, stained and leaded—are fitted with storms and screens so one can enjoy their beauty with the convenience of double panes. A jewel of a fireplace with an elaborate wood-burning insert is the focus of the living room. A wide opening with pocket doors leads to the dining room, which is complete with built-in buffet. A glass door leads to a wide side porch facing 10th Street.
All the appliances in the kitchen are present and accounted for. The kitchen has a peninsula facing a multi-windowed eating area all floored in new tile with bead-board cabinets and open shelves. A windowed pocket door leads to a large pantry. The next room over is a bathroom with a clawfoot tub, shower and toilet with a tank up on the wall. A second door connects to another large room with built-in shelves. The back stairs to the second floor open from the kitchen.
The main stairs are gracious, well-lit, and lead to a large second-floor landing and four bedrooms—one with a sun room—and the second full bath. Happily, it also has a clawfoot tub and small, lovely white and green octagonal tile. A glass door off a side bedroom leads to a wrought-iron exterior spiral staircase. More stairs lead to a third floor. It has an enormous great room vaulted with light brown rustic beams and a ceiling fan and a kitchen that faces south. Next door is the third bathroom. Windows also face north, east and west, and I think I counted five skylights. This area of the house has plenty of attic storage and cabinets in what looks like an entertainment area. The carpet is a beautiful, lush green.
I didn't walk through it, but there is a full unfinished basement. The house is heated with the original radiators, and a ventilation system brings fresh air from the outside. Many of the doors have transoms above them to circulate air and, on the third floor, there's a big window air conditioner. Many mature trees shade the property and the wide parking strips. The house has some ivy growing up the walls.
Pros: What a great old house fitted for modern living. The interior wood is exceptional. It would be joy to sit on the big side porch or on the front porch on a warm day. An ornate old lamp on the first-floor newel post reminds me of Tiffany. The rooms and the porches flow together and would be very good for entertaining.
Cons: The house has no garage, but since the lot is on the corner, parking on two streets is an option.