1319 N. 16th St. was built in 1908 by George Cole. At the time, Cole was building several other houses in the Boise North End. This house, however, is not atypical of the North End style. Seated one block off of Harrison Boulevard this house exhibits mainly Queen Anne stylistic elements though lacking the traditional Queen Anne height and turret.
The base of the house was made, like many other houses during this time period, utilizing sandstone from the local quarry. Beyond that, the house is covered in whimsical light blue siding trimmed with cream on the corners. It’s notable that the house also includes patterned siding on the second floor. The house has three hipped dormer windows which contribute to its asymmetrical build. Also included are traditional wooden window frames as opposed to modern plastic or fiber glass, which is also typical of the North End. One of the many fancy features of this house is the leaded windows on both doors and on the front dormer.
The designs are fairly intricate and add to the house’s pleasant elegance. The other windows on the house are large vertical windows with a similar rectangular pattern on each, creating a coherent and subtle design. The wraparound porch is spiced up with blue trimmed Doric columns and a rectangular pattern on the porch’s railing. Along with style, this house has a red brick chimney that connects to two internal fireplaces. The fact that the house uses a mixture of wood, brick, stone, fancy windows, colorful and patterned sidings is another indicator of the expressed Queen Anne style.
The house was often used as a rental house and was home to many interesting people in the early 20th century (including some particularly intelligent and independent women). In 1911, Miss Effie M. Pike lived in the house who happened to be the principal of none other than the near by Central School (known today as Boise High School). She was quite a socialite as she was the guest of honor of many a party and as her life was regularly recorded in the Idaho Statesman. Her lovely house reflected her elevated and beloved social status.
In 1915 after Pike left to continue her college education in Chicago the house was available for rent again. The offer was taken up by Miss Marie Freehafer (also known as Miss Adams County 1915). She was a student at the University of Idaho (not to mention the Vice President of the school’s Women’s League) and lived in the house while she spent her long hot summers in Boise. After she finished college, the house was likely owned by farmers as indicated by a 1922 for sale advertisement in the Idaho Statesman classified section. They intended to sell a fruit press, lard, and sausage from the house as well as other miscellaneous items such as a Coles Hot Blast Heater.
These efforts to make extra money could have likely been part of the staggering increase in consumerism that the United States experienced during the 1920s. It can also represent the overall national growth of the U.S. farming industry during this time period. Overall the house was used for a variety of purposes and has served as a comfy home to many people since its foundation in 1908.
The house today has been updated since its original form to make it more modern. The home was originally built with an addition that can now be considered the most beautiful and spacious two door garage that the North End has ever seen. Initially it was most likely used as a storage facility. However, the garage has been torn down and renovated a couple times. Today the garage is constructed so similarly to the house that at first glance, one would think that it too holds its original form. It’s only when one looks closely that one can tell the slabs of sandstone that make up the bases of the buildings are slightly different.
Other characteristics of the house have been remodeled several times over the years, for example the landscaping. Most of the remodeling work however has been superficial and has successfully maintained the historic integrity of the house. In 2007, the house went through a notable renovation. The previous owners had six layers of paint stripped off of the house to reveal the original color and then hired an expert to replicate the color for the house’s most recent paint job. A deck and an awning were torn out from the back yard and a sky light was added to the roof. The rest of the renovation project consisted of minor interior changes and repairs to the house. Other than those remodeling efforts, the house represents its original and historical form accurately.
The future of the house is in good hands. The family moving into the house this summer loves history and respects the historical significance of the house and neighborhood. No major renovations or changes to the house are expected as they recognize the responsibility to preserve this special piece of Boise history.