2,086 Square Feet
3 Bed/1.5 Bath
Fidelity Realty Corporation
Abby Hyams, 208-345-1181
Contemporary-sounding concepts like walkability have gained popularity in cities across the country. Because American suburbs have pushed homes farther from central shopping centers and city cores during the past 50 years, modern citizens don't think twice about driving a couple of miles to fetch a gallon of milk.
But a century ago, before the advent of the automobile age, neighborhoods were proximate to central commercial hubs as a necessity because the primary modes of transportation were walking, bicycling, electric trolley and horse-drawn buggy.
Take this home, for example. It was built in 1907 in Boise's North End at a time when no one had ever heard of such a thing as an obesity rate. Back then, kids walked to neighborhood schools, which are still located within a five-block radius from this restored Queen Anne-style residence.
To acquire provisions in downtown Boise, it used to be that parents hoofed it to the nearest trolley car line or drove a buggy. Today, groceries can be sought on foot at the tiny Hollywood Market located three blocks away, or it's a 10-minute stroll to Albertsons on State Street. Even the farmers market in downtown Boise on summery Saturday mornings is just an eight-minute pedal from the dwelling's charming covered front porch.
The two-story home's pale blue exterior is covered with fish scale shingles. Inside, the floor plan places a formal living room, formal dining room, kitchen and a family room on the main level. Three bedrooms are upstairs, along with and a beautifully refurbished bathroom that features a large shower stall and a restored cast iron bathtub with pewter claw feet. After the current owners purchased the home last fall, they corrected every issue on the inspection report, which included updates to the plumbing and electrical systems.
Ten-foot-tall ceilings and single-pane windows 8-and-a-half-feet tall make the whole house appear bright. The century-old window glass bears a characteristic wavy appearance. The tall panes allow plenty of natural light into the home, so the homeowner rarely has to flip a light on during the day. Although the home's heating and central air conditioning systems work fine, the windows retain their original orientation to provide plenty of fresh air and cross-ventilation during the summer. And when Boise is in the chilly throes of winter, removable storm windows help keep the house warm by adding an extra exterior layer of protection from frosty winds.
In the kitchen, floor-to-ceiling hardwood cabinets provide plenty of storage space for dishes, small appliances, pots and pans. A big, white farmhouse sink is set into a long countertop of slab of granite. Stainless steel appliances and a Viking range complete the cooking area.
The stairway banister is one of the few details that still bears the scratches and scrapes from 100 years of family life. Throughout the home, the original Douglas fir flooring, which was recently sanded and sealed with a lovely semi-gloss finish, glows a golden hue. Similarly smooth hardwood was used to create wide trim around interior doorways and windows.
Outside, is a tidy lawn, front and back. A magnolia tree punctuates the front yard while the original carriage house, which acts as a one-car garage with alley access, still stands in the back yard.
Overall, this house combines vintage character with contemporary craftsmanship in a location that illustrates what walkability is all about.
Pros: Renovated Queen Anne in Boise's popular North End.
Cons: One-car garage.
Open House: Saturday-Sunday, May 30-31, 1-4 p.m.