On the south side of Warm Springs Avenue, hidden by ancient trees, bushes and a thick iron gate, rests a house that might only be found on the misty moors of England. The Langroise House, as it is commonly called, is styled in traditional English Tudor Revival with brick, steep slanted slate roofs, leaded glass windows, and wooden beams with plaster walls. The house was designed by Kirtland K. Cutter, a renowned Spokane architect that contracted many mansions and hotels throughout the West in the later half of the 19th Century and into the 1920s.
The four bedroom 6000 square foot on 2 acres home has changed hands several times and is enveloped in a rich history. C. C. Anderson commissioned Cutter to design for him a comfortable and mildly lavish home. It was built in 1925 and officially finished in 1926. Anderson was a rather prominent and pioneering businessman with an entire chain of Golden Rule department stores throughout Idaho.
Anderson lived at the house from its construction until his death in 1958. For this reason, many believe that the house should be referred to as the Anderson House rather than the Langroise House in honor of its builder and longest resident of 32 years. William H. Langroise then bought the house after Anderson’s death. Langroise was an influential lawyer and wealthy insurance executive. In 1977, Langroise then vowed that after his death, the estate would be donated to BSU as the presidential residence. However, after the death of Langroise in 1981, Gladys continued to live in the house.
Following Gladys’s death in 2000, BSU took full possession of the house and then the BSU President Charles Ruch lived in the house until his retirement in 2003. In 2005, it was sold to its present owners who bought it for 2.2 million. The house itself is a beautifully elegant Tudor home inspired by English countryside estates. One of the most striking features of the house is the large leaded glass window above the front door.
The half timber walls on the eastern upper side are reminiscent of medieval cottages; however, it is only a decorative look in modern construction, not the support it was back then. Intricate gables adorn the peaks of the roofs, and highlighted stone quoins support the brick walls along the perimeter of the house. The garden of the house is a landscaping masterpiece. Designed by the Frederick Law Olmstead Firm (a master himself who designed New York’s Central Park), the gardens stretch the length of the property with a single lane of grass running down the middle, and contain many types of orchard trees and flowers.
The Langroise House is a timeless glimpse into the history of Boise and even its University. Such a richly detailed house only mirrors such an exquisite history. A beautiful example of Boise architecture like this is a rare find indeed. Thanks to Charles Hummel and Todd Shallat for assisting in our research.