Property Type: Institutional
Neighborhood: Warm Springs/East End  |  County: Ada  |  Building Status: Public  |  Year Built: 1965  |  Architectural Style: Modern/New Formalism
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The Boise Fish and Game building is a very important building for not only Boise but all of Idaho. Its purpose is very important for conservation.

The purpose of the Boise Fish and Game building is very important. Construction broke ground in October of 1964, Jordon Wilcomb was the contractor, the planned construction cost was $346,742, and the 10 acre lot cost $80,000. The building was to embody the department’s “Five-Point program to promote more public access, hunting, fishing, increasing wildlife potential through habitat improvement, increasing fish hatchery production and more service to recreationists.” (Statesman) It is used to create ideas of how to conserve the natural world in Idaho that we are often unaware of. They are also in charge of enforcing those ideas, and they’re influential with the legislature about turning those ideas into laws that need to be followed. Without this building and the people who work inside, there would probably be no more salmon, trout, bears, or wolves in the entire state. One other thing that is taken care of within the fish and game building is the issuing of permits. There is a specific permit for nearly every kind of hunting, and there’s a separate one for fishing as well. If you want to be able to hunt, you need to go through the fish and game department or face the law. All of these things are taken care of within the fish and game building, and they are taken care of very well.

The Boise fish and game building that exists right now is only one of the many iterations that have existed in the past. It has been relocated many times, the most recent has been from Front Street to it’s current location on Walnut street. This newest building was constructed in 1965, and is very modern in its style. The modern architectural style has a few defining characteristics. One of these characteristics is that it has a complete rejection of the ornament. This means that any stylistic addition to a building would make the building not modern. It also has a simplification of form and an elimination of unnecessary detail, such as decorative shingles.

The Boise fish and Game building definitely follows all that makes a modern building modern, and that is easily its architectural style. The first feature of the Fish and Game building that is worth mentioning is the very large overhang right above the front door. The overhang goes from the door to about 40 or 50 feet out. It’s very interesting and seems as though it’s mainly decorative. This is the only part of the building that can even be in question when talking of the modern aspects. However, it provides a very useful purpose, shade. Even though the building is not heavily used anymore, it probably was at one point in time. And when it was first being used there were most likely large numbers of people waiting outside, and that would make this overhang very useful to provide large numbers of people with shade.

At some point the building became less populated, and the overhang became more of an ornament. However, there was certainly no reason to remove it so that the building retained its modern look. The overhang now serves primarily as a stylistic touch to the building, and offers a good bit of pizzazz to the building.Another defining aspect of the building is its incredible symmetry. The building is the exact same on either end, both from the outside and from the inside. The symmetry of the building makes it seem very modern. When you look at the building as a whole and realize that it’s essentially the same from side to side, you really get the feeling that its main purpose is not style, but to be very functional. The most useful thing in giving the building a modern feel is probably the symmetry. The designers of the building did a good job of making the building seem very modern in this respect.One other part of the building that is very worth mentioning is the fact that so much of the floor space was intelligently used. The walls between the different offices weren’t very thick, leaving more room for usable floor space. Also, there really none of the building that isn’t used for something, there is no unused space, and the majority, probably 90%, of all the rooms in the building were used as offices that appeared to be used very regularly. One other thing that made their use of floor space very good was the use of narrow hallways. The halls of the building only gave a few feet, which gave even more room to be practically used for offices, etc.

There was one more thing about the building that made it very modern, even if it was only a small contribution. The bench right outside the front door was very basic, which made it seem quite modern. It was large, but it didn’t seem to take away from the front entrance which was close by, and it also didn’t use any brick, wood, etc. It was made entirely of concrete, and it seemed as though only a small amount of concrete was used. It put the final piece in for the building to seem truly modern. The Boise Fish and Game building is a very interesting building. It has an odd part, the overhang, that seems to add a nice stylistic touch, but the building is still very clearly primarily used for its purpose of regulating fishing and hunting laws. It has commendable symmetry which makes the building seem entirely modern, if there was any doubt before. The ingenious use of floor space also helps in making the building seem very functional and not stylistic. It is a very good example of modern architecture.