This gorgeous home located on the historic Warm Springs Avenue was built in 1906. It was designed by the two architects, Tourtelotte and Hummel (whose firm still exists today), for the Davidson family. Unfortunately, Mr. Davidson passed away before the construction of the house was complete. His wife was stricken with grief over this ordeal and couldn’t stand the thought of moving into a new house without her husband. Rumor has it, that as a way to cope with the loss of her husband, Mrs. Davidson had the coffin of Mr. Davidson be placed in the attic of the house. The current residents of 920 Warm Springs Ave. admit that they have yet to actually see for themselves if this legend is true.
The Davidsons remained the owners of this house until 1948, when the Jones family took over as residents. This family lived here for four decades and made many improvements to the house. Besides adding on to the garage and storage shed in the backyard, the Jones family also remodeled the kitchen and added some artistic flair to the house’s interior. Perhaps the most interesting improvement to occur during the Jones’s residency was the optical illusion that one of the children painted just off the entry-way. This painting appears to be an additional room with painted black and white tiles on the floor and red doors. However, as one steps closer to this “other room”, it’s apparent that it is only an illusion that was made possible thanks to the altering of tones and sizes in the painting. This style of art was very popular during the late 1960s, which was one the painting was done at the house.
The current residents of 920 Warm Springs Ave. are the Miller family. They moved in after the death of Mr. Jones in 1988. The Millers also made a lot of revisions to the house, including doing a second remodel of the kitchen (2009), adding tiles to the floor surrounding the optical illusion, and improving much of the surrounding landscape. In fact, the household is currently undergoing a major remodel for most of the upper-level and East side of the house. This made it a bit difficult to tour and take photographs of the house. Mrs. Miller assured us though, that as soon as the remodel was completed, we would be welcome to come back to do a more extensive viewing of 920 Warm Springs Ave.
As far as the architectural style of this historic house is concerned, it appears that an assortment of designs and themes were used for the construction of 920 Warm Springs Ave. Officially, most records describe this house as being Western Colonial in style. Its symmetrical layout, pastel hues, white trimming, wooden shingles, and crossed windows all are aspects of this style of architecture. However, 920 Warm Spring Ave. also has a lot of characteristics that are similar to the numerous craftsman and bungalow styled houses that can be found throughout the Boise area. It has a lofty veranda with a quaint, swinging chair out front, as well as a hip roof.
Like many craftsman styled houses of that era, the sandstone bricks were brought over from the quarry at table rock during the turn of the 20th century. This house boasts a hip roof with overhanging eves which really add to create a cozy atmosphere. Wooden shingles are used for the entire exterior of the main house as well as the garage and storage shed out back. A notable aspect of this house is its low, circular windows that appear to look out from the basement. The current blue tone of the house is fairly similar to that of its original color.
The interior of the household was surprisingly bright. Upon entering, one is immediately greeted by a vibrant, red staircase and black tiles. It gives off a rather dramatic and warm vibe. Red, white, black, and even yellow are the most dominate colors for the inside of the house. This was most likely not how the house was originally fashioned, but all stylistic modifications were done in good taste. Over the years, 920 Warm Springs Ave. has taken on a more modern, craftsman-like design.
The landscape and positioning of the house sometimes make it easy for 920 Warm Spring Ave. to be overlooked. It truly is a hidden gem, though. The combination of a gorgeous porch, immaculate trimming, and tan sandstone bricks place 920 Warm Spring Ave among some of the most sophisticated and beautiful houses in all of East Boise.