Art Deco was a direct response to the stifling rigidity of WWI. From opulent sunbursts to automobile motifs, Art Deco signaled the dawn of a sleek new sense of modernity.
But with the onset of the Great Depression, Art Deco's angled steel, jutting aluminum and inlaid exotic woods gave way to a more pragmatic design style: Art Moderne. Art Moderne stripped Art Deco of its rich embellishments, favoring simple curves and readily accessible materials like cement and glass.
In the 1930s and '40s, the Art Deco and Art Moderne movements found their way to the edge of Boise's North End. Running north and south of State Street from 22nd to 25th streets, there are a number of examples of these classic architectural styles.
On Saturday, May 29, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Preservation Idaho will host a free bike tour of local Art Deco and Art Moderne homes.
"It's part of Historic Preservation Month activities, which is the month of May," said Dan Everhart of Preservation Idaho. "What's great about this subject is it really lends itself to a bicycle tour, because the Art Deco and Art Moderne houses that we're going to look at, they're really kind of a rare breed. There just aren't that many houses in that style that exist in Boise, and they're definitely not close enough together that we could have a whole walking tour."
Though the tour is free to the public, only 30 spots are available and you must register in advance by calling 208-424-5111 or visiting preservationidaho.org.
"I think this will be the first time that somebody has offered an experience like this, where you get to be on your bike, which everybody loves, but at the same time you get to look at some of the architecture that makes Boise unique."
Saturday, May 29, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., FREE, call 208-424-5111 or visit preservationidaho.org to register for the tour and receive the meeting location.