Property Type: Commercial
Neighborhood: Downtown, Threatened Buildings  |  County: Ada  |  Year Built: 1911  |  Architectural Style: Folk
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The Chinese Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) building is in the National Register of Historic Places is listed as being built in 1911, however, it first appears on a Sanborn Map in 1948 so the actual date of build is not certain. What is known, however, is that it was designed by noted Idaho architects Tourtellotte and Hummel and that it is their only surviving Chinatown-district building in Boise. It appears that Tourtellotte and Hummell also built several other buildings in Boise’s Chinatown during the early years of the 20th Century. The building is now in the path of growth and redevelopment along Front Street. The building next door was demolished in 2020. This building currently has no protections against demolition and could be threatened if the current owner decides to redevelop the lot. The original building is fairly simple and housed shop space on the ground floor with the lodge hall and sleeping rooms on the second floor. Though significantly remodeled multiple times over the years, the front facade on the second floor retains original elements and the significance of the building, both for its contribution to Boise’s Chinese-American community and the building’s well-known architects, remains strong. There are some good articles on the building and on Boise’s Chinatown available through the Idaho Statesman digitized editions. You can access them with your library card.