The Burkett Law Office was designed and built by a lawyer as a home for his family in 1903. Sometime later, it was sold to a doctor.
After the strike of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the house became a two residential rental, and a law firm on the bottom level. From the 30s through the 60s, the building was significantly remodeled. In the 40s and 50s, a business lady added on a significant number of square feet onto the side of the house where she ran a dress shop.
By the late 1980s, the house had become known as a notorious drug house, as two of Boise’s biggest drug dealers were renting the 3rd floor. In fact, almost every building surrounding Boise High at this point was low income, in a state of disrepair; some were occupied by homeless people and experienced an array of criminal activity. A reported rape happened right behind the Burkett office. The Boise School District then asked if it was possible to take down some of these homes to build a parking lot. The city denied them, but there was a growing concern of the activity surrounding Boise High.
In 1996, Mike Burkett, a former State Senator, bought the house and cleaned out the drug dealers to establish his own law office on the main and bottom floor, and rent out the third floor. To his surprise, when he finally began moving things in, one of the drug dealers had left a Boise High student on the couch on the verge of death from an overdose. Burkett was happy to inform that after he took care of the situation and that it was the last form of drug use in the home.
The Burkett law office has 4 bedrooms, one full bath, two half baths, 3 offices, a dining room, and two kitchens all distributed between three floors. Similar to many homes built in the Progressive era, the Burkett office captures the unique and aesthetically interesting Queen Anne architectural design. The front porch is a common feature in Queen Anne style, with the stone foot steps leading to the pillared front entrance.
Mixing gables, rounded towers, and decorative details gave the Burkett office its own unique identity. The carefully carved balustrade in the tower gives the building the classical Queen Anne look, paired with the wood shingles over stone.
With the popular design sweeping America, Queen Anne was known for its elaborate style; using a variety of colors and textures. The Burkett office was built with particular attention to detail, everything from the heating furnace to the stained windows. Paying close attention to detail, carvings and embellishments played an important role in the designing of the office as it contributed to the overall elaborate theme of the home.
100 years later the Burkett office still holds the original coloring and general design, but in the last decade the building has undergone some renovating. 2005 marks the most recent update by touching up painting, rebuilding the fire place on the main level, and the construction of the easy access ramp in the back.
Today, Burkett still owns the building, running his law firm on the first two levels and renting out the two rooms upstairs.