In 1922 Edward and Antonia Sorben purchased a lot near the base of Harrison Boulevard for
$2,000. A house later described as an “exceptional bungalow” was built soon after. Like many
of their contemporaries, the Sorbens constructed a house designed in the Colonial Revival style.
This one-story, symmetrical example features a prominent entry flanked by large sidelights and
banks of French doors. The broad, graceful ellipse of the front porch is supported on Tuscan
columns and features classically-inspired moldings. Although no architect or construction
cost was recorded for the house, when it sold in 1928 nearly $10,000 was asked. Real estate
advertisements described a home with “oak floors throughout, hot water heat, French doors,
copper weather stripped doors and windows, superior bath fixtures, shower bath in basement,
also den and maid’s room” and a large lot with “exceptional shrubs.”
Born in Minnesota, Edward Sorben formed a career in the retail clothing industry. He engaged
in the clothing business in Colorado before relocating to Boise in 1910. Here he managed
the men’s department of the Golden Rule department store for 12 years before taking over
management of the clothing department at the Cash Bazaar – a position he held until shortly
before his death at the home in 1927 at the age of 62. After his death, Antonia, who also
worked in the retail business, was forced to sell her new home and move elsewhere in the city.
She sold the house in 1928 to Earle and Kathryne Cranston. Cranston arrived in Boise from
Baker City in 1916 to open a Studebaker dealership. He descended from early Idaho pioneers
and his mother took pride in claiming to be the first woman married in what was to be the
State of Idaho. He later opened the Cranston Chevrolet Company, and Earle and his sons were
associated with automobile sales for the rest of his life. Ironically, Cranston died in 1932 at the age of 60 from injuries sustained in a one-car automobile accident. When his young, second
wife Kathryne died in 1934, the home was inherited by her sister, Amy Stein. Stein, a nurse,
lived in the house until her death in 1973.
*This home was featured on the 2014 Heritage Homes tour by Preservation Idaho. To learn more, click here.