Preservation Idaho names 37th round of Orchids and Onions

Every year, Preservation Idaho hosts the Orchids and Onions Awards. The ceremony recognizes the best and the worst in historic preservation.

The aim is to bring awareness to projects that have benefitted local history as well as those that have shown an insensitivity to the state’s cultural history.

The awards ceremony will take place on the Veterans Administration Medical Center campus at the Mountain Cove Gym near Building No. 33, in Boise on Saturday, May 31. Lunch is planned followed by the Awards Ceremony and building tour. The entire event is scheduled for 11a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tickets are $25 for non-members and $20 current Preservation Idaho members. A non-meal $10 ticket is offered for the ceremony and tour only, starting at noon.

Get your tickets online or call 424-5111.

Here is the 2014 list:

Excellence in Historic Preservation:

Building No. 33 Renovation at Fort Boise (the VA Medical Center), Boise – This project illustrates the potential for reuse and renovation at one of Idaho’s most important historical landmarks while meeting both modern needs and the highest standards of historic preservation.

Oregon Trail Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation, Boise – Public investment in an iconic example of Boise’s infrastructure will allow this historic structure to continue its reign as the queen of Boise River bridges.

• Kress Building, Idaho Falls – The renovation of this downtown landmark provides an example to other owners of historic commercial properties that historic preservation efforts can achieve astonishing results with modest investment and attention to detail.

Contribution to Historic Preservation:

• Rathbun-Forney House, Boise – With admirable attention to historic detail, this house will continue to contribute to the Warm Springs Avenue Historic District while providing a home which meets the needs of a modern family.

Gasser House, Pocatello – When broken pipes and nearly 260,000 gallons of water threatened to undermine this jewel of the University Historic District, a heroic effort saved the house from condemnation and restored it to use as a family home.

Sandpoint Events Center, Sandpoint – Under the stewardship and investment of a series of sympathetic owners, the renovation of the historic Sandpoint High School shows that these touchstones of our communities can successfully be converted for contemporary use.

Cultural Heritage Preservation:

Boise 150 – Boise Sesquicentennial Celebration, Boise – This year-long celebration sparked an incredible public interest in local history and resulted in events and activities which promoted awareness of the historic richness and diversity of Idaho’s capital city.• Chief Theater Sign Restoration, Pocatello – The restoration of this iconic landmark provides an opportunity for Pocatello residents and visitors alike to witness the ongoing revitalization of downtown.

Jacobs-Uberuaga House Well Preservation Project, Boise – This collaborative project elevated public awareness of urban historic archaeology while recovering and preserving a rich collection of artifacts for future educational and curatorial outreach.

Treasure Valley Coffee Warehouse Reuse, Twin Falls – The renovation of this historic warehouse preserves the cultural heritage of a neighborhood historically devoted to the same use.

Heritage Stewardship:

Wasden-Croft Archaeological Preserve, Burley – The protection of this nationally significant site through a public-private partnership is evidence that stewardship of Idaho’s archaeological patrimony is possible with dedicated teamwork.


Loss of Historic Fabric in Central Addition, Boise – Evidence that despite the efforts of some property owners, policy makers, and the preservation community the result can still be the degradation and loss of architecturally and historically significant neighborhoods.


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