This craftsman bungalow style house was originally built in 1904 on a .15 acre lot. It is in the North End and when it was constructed, the North End was relatively new. This house is part of the Locust Grove Addition, a suburban area designed for high-end homes that would cost at least $1500. Over three thousand trees were planted to maintain the feel of an exclusive, upper-class community.
After stepping through the old doors, the interior proves to be equally as impressive. An inviting walk in hallway is lined with ornate doors and dark wood, characteristics of craftsman architecture. In the spacious and cozy living room, a wood burning stove helps keep the home warm. On either side of it, more doors lead to the bedroom. This house has a two-car garage that’s not attached to the house but rather the back alley and takes up 504 ft.². They have an open porch in the front and an open patio in the backyard. Their unfinished basement takes up 371 ft.² and their main floor is 1529 ft.² and their newly remodeled upper floor is 1029 ft.² making the house a total of 2929 ft.² on May 5 sixth and seventh in 1929 there was an ad in the Idaho statesman (the same at all three days) saying that the house was for sale and that you could call for more info. The house today would be worth around $424,900.
The current residents, Jim and MariAnne Plaine, remodeled the house in 2004. As their three sons reached high school age the Plaine’s found themselves in need of more space and began a remodel in early 2004. In the near century of its history, the house has undergone significant renovations. The dark wood paneling that can be seen in most of the house is absent in the kitchen, which was remodeled sometime in the 50’s or 60’s. The first of a series of remodels, also done to similar houses on the block, the Plains removed dark blue metal paneling that had been put on the house in the early 70s but was falling off and did not show the original craftsman wood work that took thousands of hours to complete back in 1904 when it was first built. As part of the remodel they expanded their upstairs floor from an attic which was serving the bedroom for two of the boys, to a two-bedroom one bath floor by substantially expanding the dormer that faced the front of the house as well as adding on to the rear of the building to make room for a new bathroom upstairs and a larger kitchen downstairs.
Interestingly enough every house on the block, each a bungalow with many craftsman elements, had the same metal siding that was on the planes residence, but as the planes began to remodel, so did the entire block as they saw the true beauty of the Craftsman woodwork underneath. The remodel of 1108 N. 20th St. sparked a series of renovations on the block which ended up being closer to restorations. It has 5 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms but before the remodel it had 7 bedrooms and one bathroom.
When speaking with the contractor, Rory Hammersmark, who did renovations on the Plains residence, he explained how he was a specialist in working with old homes and his goal was to bring out old craftsmanship and not necessarily create new styles. He gave the example of the tedious work one of his carpenters went through to mimic the downstairs floorboards in the upstairs, as well as going to great lengths to cover up new plywood with authentic looking textures in order to make the home seem authentic as well as to avoid any possible violations with the city as the house is in Boise’s historic district.
Listed on the Boise historic registrar, 1108 North 20th Street is a relic of Boise’s past, and its historical significance is evident from the architectural features of the house.