The Klein home was built by Art Troutner, a renowned architect in the Boise area. Troutner created the Trus-Joist Company and along with his architectural style have been very influential. Along with the Klein Home, there are several other houses located in Ketchum, Boise, and the Cascade area that are equally unique and impressive.
Troutner has many unique building traits that one will only find in his homes. A few are seen in the Klein Home. The Klein home was built for Edith Miller-Klein. She was one of the first women in Idaho to pass the Bar exam and become an active member of the state legislature. The pool that is located between the dining and living room was designed especially for her use. She swam everyday in the geothermal heated pool.
The main influence of architecture used by Troutner in this home is Frank Lloyd Wright inspired with a touch of masonry. It was meant to be in sync with Idaho’s nature and terrain. The light colored wood is unpainted and unstained keeping the natural look. The flooring that consists of river rocks, cement, and carpet mimic patterns and shapes found in mountainous areas. There is a skylight that stretches all through out the home that allows natural light rather than an overload of incandescent light bulbs.
During the mid-twentieth century, events in national history can be connected back to the style of the Klein house. In the late fifties, after the economic flux produced by the Second World War, the nation was dealing with the Red Scare and the Cold War. There were a greater number of female workers present in the work force and this is evident when you look to the first owner of the Klein house, Edith Miller Klein. People were willing to experiment during this time, and Art Troutner took up the opportunity and did so with many of his residential homes. The Klein house is truly one of a kind and so is its history. It hosted the first female lawyer in Idaho, and was built by a renowned architect that is one of Idaho’s own. The style and construction of this home is creative and innovative and can best be described as a masterpiece.