Built in 1904, the Belgravia building was originally designed by an architect named J.S Jellison who was a prominent architect of the northwest at the time. The building was designed to be utilized as an apartment building, over a hundred years later it has been transformed into offices, a hair salon, a restaurant, and many other conveniences. With only a few additions and changes, this building remains a major part of the historic district of Boise.
During the construction of the building, the owner J.K DuBois (brother of Senator Fred T. DuBois) had no official contract to build the flats but he made purchases and hired workmen as he went, allowing “special” contracts. The project was brought to a standstill due to a lack of funds and the matter was brought to court in a case known as the Pacific States Savings and Building Company vs. J.K DuBois.
The judge over the case, Judge Stewart, held that the liens of the workmen had dated back to the beginning of the operations and were prior in right over the mortgage. Judgment in this case was later reversed by the Supreme Court and reopened upon a rehearing. In 1906 after the decision was made in the Supreme Court the building went to auction and was bought by a man from San Francisco named L.M Prichard who was the secretary of the Pacific States Association. He purchased the DuBois flats at the price of $28,050.
After the purchase, Pardy rapidly began to finish the construction of the building. Along with the construction of the building, he renamed it from the DuBois flats to the Belgravia Terraces. In the end, the total cost of the building was roughly $70,000 and eventually able to house 30 families.
The Belgravia was one of the first apartment buildings in the city of Boise, and it was considered one of the most desirable places to live as well. The building was furnished with the latest and most valuable conveniences. It was built with 2,200 perches of stone, 264,000 bricks, and walls two feet thick to the top of the basement and eighteen inches thick from the top of the basement to the roof. Significantly, the original brick and stone remain. The roof of the building is made of galvanized iron which was both fire proof and sound proof.
The entire building was ventilated by galvanized pipes inside the brick walls, having a natural way of ventilating the building, keeping the dirty air out and the clean air inside. Throughout the building there is 30,000 square feet of floor space containing 21 flats, 130 rooms, and the ability to accommodate 20-30 families. Some of the “upper class” amenities featured in the Belgravia were; the heating system which used gas and steam, the availability of at least one bathroom and closet in every room, the large amount of hot and cold water in each room, and good sanitation.
The floors throughout the building are known to be sound proof and water proof. Each room in the building has access to the roof, the rooms are also lighted using either gas or electricity and are well ventilated and fitted up with every convenience.
The walls of the building were constructed of sandstone from Table Rock Mountain. Because of the added amenities and conveniences the apartments were considered to be the best and largest in the entire city of Boise at the time. The building was also constructed in about half of the time of any building its size in the city. And as a part of a restoration project in 1977, the Belgravia was one of the first buildings to win an orchid award.
After over a hundred years, the building still stands in functional, livable, and historical condition. With its Romanesque architectural style it is a one of a kind building, standing tall with most of the original doors, light fixtures, and other features that add to the style and history of the building.