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Looking out over downtown Boise and the Boise River, this glass-fronted train depot has welcomed visitors since 1925. Union Pacific stopped using the depot in 1971, resulting in a dilapidated building. Luckily, the Morrison-Kundsen Company financed a restoration based on old photographs and plans. Today visitors can view the valley from the bell tower or wander through the manicured Platt Gardens that surround the building. The depot is also available for special events, including weddings. Admission is free.
Arching dramatically over the Boise River, this picturesque bridge displays colorful ceramic panels. The concrete arch is a sturdy memorial to the Oregon Trail pioneers that crossed the Boise River close to where the bridge stands. Built by the Boise construction company Morrison Knudsen, the bridge offers views of the Boise Train Depot on one side and the Idaho State Capitol Building on the other. Couple with the nearby Julia Davis Park, and The Cabin for an interesting tour.
Rescued by the Sons and Daughters of Idaho Pioneers, this complex of original Boise dwellings is located in the Julia Davis Park, next to the Idaho State Historical Museum. While wandering through two 1863 cabins, visitors can imagine the life of Isaac Coston, who slept under his cabin's roof for 50 years. The other cabin housed a blacksmith and later a Chinese family. Other structures include an adobe house from 1865 and a homesteader's shack from 1909.
Built in the year 1905 and modeled on the iconic building of the U.S. Capitol, the Idaho Capitol is one of the few statehouse in the country that is heated by geothermal water. Construction began in 1906 and was completed in the year 1920. The floor of the building's rotunda is laid in an ornate marble pattern called the Compass Rose. The rolling grounds on which the edifice rests are well kept and have several notable trees, some of which were planted by the U.S. Presidents. Harboring many national jewels including prized sculptures, statues, and artifacts, this courtly capitol is awash in Classical semblances of architecture. Its glorious dome overlooking Boise's charming cityscape, the capitol building is fringed by the Capitol Mall, and many older public buildings and monuments. Complete with opulent interiors restored to their original glory, the capitol building is truly a legislative beacon of Idaho.
This Albertsons Stadium looks like any other until you see the turf - it's blue! Located on the campus of Boise State University and home to the BSU Bronco Football Team, this popular stadium is also used by many other athletic teams. In the fall football dominates, but come spring nimble tracksters sprint around the track. In June the stadium becomes the focal point for local high school graduations. The 30,000-seat stadium was dedicated to Lyle Smith, a former BSU football coach with a history for winning teams.
This tree-filled avenue is home to some of Boise's first houses done in a graceful late 1800s architecture. Located near downtown Boise, these elegant mansions were the first in the United States to be geothermally heated. Stroll the neighborhood and find some of the best gems. The oldest home, built in 1868, is at 1035 Warm Springs Avenue. The first geothermally heated home, built in 1891, can be found at 1109 Warm Springs Avenue. At 929 Warm Springs Avenue, you come to a 1925 house built in the style of a British manor. All of the homes are private and are not open for tours.
The "Old Pen" is a stirring glimpse into prison life in the West from the 19th Century onward. Built in 1870, the castle-like fortress underwent renovation over the years, often using prison labor. Over 13,000 prisoners served time in the Old Penitentiary over a period of 101 years. Complete with solitary confinement cells and gallows, this eerie, yet intriguing penitentiary was also where the notorious Lady Bluebeard was imprisoned. The mighty prison is upheld by the Idaho State Historical Society, its complex a home to several notable sites like the Territorial Prison, the Dining Hall and a tracery of cell houses. What was once a formidable force, is now a stimulating museum open for in-depth perusal, and harbors myriad exhibits that date as far back as the Bronze Age.