Touted as the “builders of Idaho,” the late 19th-century Boise-based architectural firm Tourtellotte and Hummel accepted a bid to design the Idaho Capitol in a Beaux-Arts and Neoclassical style on July 11, 1905. The central structure was completed in 1912, wings were added in 1919, and by 1920, the Idaho Capitol comprised 150,000 square feet.
Notable materials used for the exterior and interior include distinct and various hued stone: Montana granite, Idaho sandstone, red Georgia marble, gray Alaska marble, green Vermont marble, and black Italian marble. The interior wood throughout is Honduran mahogany. And like many grand structures, its construction required hundreds of tons of steel. The Boise Foothills, which span parts of both the Boise and Sawtoothnational forests, provide the natural and stunning backdrop to the state Capitol structure. Made of sandstone taken from nearby Table Rock, each sandstone block weighs 10 tons. From the first floor to the eagle atop the dome, the building rises 208 feet.
The project to restore the Idaho Capitol ran from 2007 to 2010. Today, the building displays permanent and rotating exhibits, curated and preserved by the Idaho State Historical Society in partnership with the Idaho Capitol Commission.
Would you like to see other kinds of arts and culture articles? Please email us your story ideas or feedback at [email protected]