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Idaho companies: Will you please consider restoring more historic buildings?


Jennifer Gonzalez

Jennifer Gonzalez

I am a fan of beautiful old buildings. I love their architecture, attention to detail and the fact that no two are ever really alike. When I lived in Boston, I appreciated that just about every building in the downtown core was easily more than 100 years old. Some dated back to the 1700s.

Having just wrapped up a profile on downtown revitalization in Idaho Falls for this month’s Idaho Construction Review, I have been impressed that companies are choosing to move their headquarters downtown, and in the process, are restoring old buildings to their original grandeur.

Boise-based Syringa Networks is one of them. President and CEO Greg Lowe said his company is wrapping up a nearly $2 million dollar remodel of a former retail store in downtown Idaho Falls. Slated to open in May, the building was entirely gutted, while details on the outer façade were restored. Sure, it would have been less expensive to build something brand new, but instead, he said restoration was a way of bringing life back to downtown in a respectful way.

Syringa’s not alone. Idahoan Foods is moving its headquarters downtown and remodeling a decades-old building on Constitution Way as well. It should open this fall after an extensive restoration and dozens of employees will work there. I commend each of these Idaho companies for appreciating the historical significance and appeal of working in a beautiful space in downtown, as opposed to some homogenized retail building elsewhere. Sure, I love new things, but when it comes to beautiful homes and other buildings, older is better, and far more interesting.

About Jennifer Gonzalez

Jennifer Gonzalez covers construction, real estate and development news. Contact her at jennifer.gonzalez@idahobusinessreview.com or 208.639.3515.

7 comments

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  3. Idaho has a long standing heritage and way of life not often seen anymore across the U.S. We would be wise to preserve these older buildings and sites for future generations.

  4. Great post. I appreciate you bringing this forward.

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  6. Preservation Idaho is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the state’s historic and cultural resources through education and advocacy.

    The Idaho Historic Preservation Council (IHPC) was established in 1972 by a group of Idahoans concerned with the alarming rate at which historic sites and resources in Idaho were being lost. These individuals wanted to create an organization that could help the members of the public unite to work towards the preservation of these resources. Today, the IHPC receives the support of hundreds of individuals, corporations and foundations as it continues the mission of its founders and advocates heritage education and preservation issues throughout the State of Idaho.

    Preservation Idaho is the vision of the IHPC in the new millennium. With mounting pressure from development and a continuously growing and changing population in the state, it is now more necessary than ever to preserve historic and cultural resources, to promote the smart re-use of historic facilities and to educate the community-at-large of the value of Idaho heritage.

    To learn more about Preservation Idaho visit their website at http://www.preservationidaho.org