Arts & Culture » Culture

Architect Credited with Bringing Modernist Buildings to Boise

Friday, March 8


Masters of modern architecture build it like Ernest J. Lombard.

Idaho's Romanesque Statehouse isn't the only iconic building in Boise.

For an intimate look at the city's other mainstays, check out Idaho Modern's second installment of Modern Masters, Friday, March 8 at the Idaho Transportation Department. The event is a celebration of the career and contributions of Ernest J. Lombard, the founder of Lombard-Conrad Architects.

As a subset of Preservation Idaho, Idaho Modern revels in mid-century architecture and modernist design across the Gem State. At the inaugural Modern Masters, a sold-out crowd honored Charles Hummel, and organizers expect a similar turnout this year.

Sleek exteriors and symmetry, the hallmarks of modernist architecture, are highlighted in Lombard's use of angular, glass-covered walls to create the Wells Fargo Center. Lombard also worked on the Morrison Center at Boise State University and, after retirement, was named one of the few Idaho fellows of the American Institute of Architects.

According to Idaho Modern Chair Amy Pence-Brown, Lombard will join architectural historian Dan Everhart in a question-and-answer session, including a look at his past work.

"I think the most interesting thing about it is you're learning about our Boise landscape, buildings that are still there and contribute to an important part of our life, like the Morrison Center," she said. "It's fun because they share these really behind-the-scenes stories and show great photos."