This lovely home located in the center of Warm Springs Avenue exudes the classical and historic nature of the neighborhood. Built in 1927, this house at 1414 Warm Springs Avenue is an example of an English or Norman Cottage, which is a basic branch of Tudor and Elizabethan housing, both of which are very prominent on Warm Springs. The steeply pitched roof and small-paned windows bring the home’s European style to Boise. The large Norman spears in the front of the house, originally made to fashion an outdoor tarp, are a signature characteristic of this type of home. According to current owner Dick Talboy, the house was surveyed when Warm Springs became a historic district in the mid-twentieth century. As a Norman Cottage, this brick home is modest yet decorative, and, like a Tudor home, displays the classic element of color contrast from dark wood to a light base.
This home was constructed in 1927 under the supervision of prominent architects Wayland and Fennell, whose work led to the creation of the modern-day CSHQA Construction Company. Originally, a man named Springer bought 4 lots, 50 feet each, for a home to be built for his wife. However, Mr. Springer died during early construction, and only a small portion of the house was finished. After this, Glen Klein took over the construction project as architect, when CJ Strike purchased the property and rebuilt and finished it. Strike was a notable Idahoan, the first president of Idaho Power and the namesake of CJ Strike Reservoir. The eye-catching “S” on the front façade of the house represents Strike’s ownership of the property.
While he owned the house, Strike became ill, and therefore many features of the home designed to aid him were established during that time and remain there today. This includes a bell system throughout the home, used by an ailing Strike to call for assistance from his bedroom. After Strike’s death, Dr. Chaloupka briefly owned the home. His significance was the addition to the house, which was a greenhouse. Since 1967, current owner Dick Talboy’s family has owned the home, which is currently just less than four thousand square feet in area, including several renovations that expanded upon the home’s original construction.
After purchasing the home, Talboy’s family remodeled it several times. Beginning in the early 1970s, the home was decorated in a colorful hippie style, which was later replaced by a more simplistic and modern design after Talboy purchased the house from his family. The latest remodels, which occurred during the 1990s, have expanded upon the original designs and structural ideas of Wayland and Fennell.
The house is heated with geothermic energy, like most homes on Warm Springs, but also includes a back-up gas heater for the coldest winter months. In addition, Talboy has created piping to heat the floors of the greenhouse, which has been a unique feature of the house for several decades. Many of the original walls were pushed back in order to widen the home and accommodate modern structures and living space. Throughout this process, the original plan’s integrity has remained and Talboy has tried to keep the house’s history intact. Many of the kitchen cabinets were modeled exactly from the original blueprints, when the kitchen was redone. The garage doors and many of the house’s windows were replaced due to their inability to last weather conditions over time, but mirrored their original form.
Like many houses of its time, the home did not originally have air conditioning, and instead had several screened rooms for hot summer months. With the addition of air conditioning, these rooms were walled and now comprise the main structure of the house. Additionally, a laundry chute connects the upper and lower floors, and what was originally intended to be an attic with a dorm window, is now part of a current bathroom and bedroom.
Previous owners left many significant mementos throughout the home, some of which did not last the test of time. For example, CJ Strike’s sunroom included a large painting of the state of Idaho on the floor, and another on a minor wall, both of which were covered in later years. While remodeling, Talboy was faced with the remarkable historical timeline of the house. In an upstairs bedroom, walls were covered by layers of intricate wallpaper that showed how the house’s decorations had changed over time, ranging from child’s wallpaper to sophisticated styles. However, Strike’s smoking room for parties remains in original form with only minor changes to the countertop and sink in the basement.
The room boasts original wood, and many other rooms also include the home’s traditional hardwood and various surfaces. Originally, the home had no backyard; instead, a driveway made of slabs of concrete paved the way to the garage, which faces inward toward the house rather than toward a communal street. Now, the home claims a large yard that wraps around it, that is elegantly landscaped and complimented by classic metal arches, delicate flowers, and gentle trees.
The classical nature of a Norman Cottage fits perfectly within the architecturally diverse neighborhood in the historic East End of Boise. Perhaps this home’s most notable characteristic is the remarkable history that lies deep within its brick walls. The home will continue to lay eye to some truly great history that has and is to come of the great neighborhood of Warm Springs and the city that is Boise, Idaho.