Property Type: Residential
Neighborhood: Kootenai Neigborhood, The Bench  |  County: Ada  |  Building Status: Private  |  Architectural Style: Minimal Traditional
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Alvin M. and Josephine Criner likely built this Minimal Traditional style house in 1935. Minimal Traditional style homes were constructed from roughly the mid-1930s until the midcentury, and this home’s intermediate-pitched, gabled roof, lack of eave overhang, and overall size coupled with its age indicate its style. This house, in keeping with the style, lacks dormers and has minimal additional detail beyond the decorative elements above the front door. The side-gabled roof, often called the “Cape Cod” style, was extremely popular throughout the 1930s and 1940s because of its symbolic heritage in early New England and for its increased interior space. Nicknamed “the little house that could,” the simple Minimal Traditional arose largely due to financial and material constraints during the Great Depression and World War II and largely disappeared due to the nation-wide economic boom in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Alvin and Josephine Criner were landowners in early 20th century Boise. They were married in August, 1908, and lived in Boise until 1940. They owned land throughout the Bench, several rental properties within Boise’s city limits, and possibly a grocery store near Rose Hill. They were members of the First Baptist Church, where Alvin served as a deacon in 1915 and a clerk in 1916. Josephine was a delegate in the Boise Prohibition Convention in 1914. They likely constructed the house at 2630 Kootenai around 1935 and rented it until they left Boise in 1940.

Though the house has had some of its historical fabric removed, it serves as a tangible remnant of early development along Kootenai since it was likely one of the first homes constructed in the area and reflects the economic constrains under which it was built.