In 1933, John Jensen offered for sale ?one of Boise?s most beautiful homes.? The 8-room house was described as providing ?all the comforts of the country and all the conveniences of a city home? with three bedrooms on the second floor and a fully-finished basement. Priced at $7,500, it was claimed that the Dutch Colonial Revival was worth $5,000 more. In addition to its typical gambrel, or barn-like, roof, the home featured shingle siding, multipaned windows, and a small bracketed entry porch. Jensen went on to boast that ?from its spacious living room?to the uppermost bedroom no detail of designing that would add to its convenience, comfort, and beauty has been overlooked.? The property at the intersection of Owyhee and Kootenai had been acquired in 1924 and although no architect or specific construction date have been identified, the house was occupied by at least 1926.
Born in Denmark in 1885, John Jensen immigrated to the Midwest in 1900 where he eventually studied horticulture and landscape architecture at the Michigan Agricultural College and Cornell University. By the time he relocated to Boise in 1920, he had married his wife Ardis and was working for the Minneapolis Park Department. In Boise he took over the operation of his late brother?s stationery and office supply store. In 1949 he sold his interest in Jensen-Graves Co. to return to landscape architecture. Jensen was responsible for landscape design at the Idaho State Historical Museum, the Boise Municipal Airport, the State Industrial Administration Building, and both the Federal Building and Idaho Statehouse. At his own home, he immodestly described the grounds as ?as fine a piece of landscape designing as would be found in any park or fine old estate.? Having sold the house in 1934, Jensen moved next door where he died in 1963.
In 1948 the Jensen House was acquired by Dr. Quentin and Jane Mack. A Boise native and physician with degrees from the University of Idaho and Northwestern, Mack and his wife continued the careful stewardship of the house and grounds. Under their ownership one of Boise?s few Sequoia was planted and additions to the rear and side of the house were carried out while respecting the original character of the home ? a trend continued by subsequent owners.
This home was featured on the 13th Annual Heritage Homes Tour in 2015 thanks to the generosity of the current homeowners James and Christin Steele.