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.