James W. McLean House and Terraces – Built 1903 – Brick Townhouse
Not much information is known about James W. McLean. His first significant public engagement was in 1901 when he ran for a seat on Boise’s City Council. At that time the Statesman described him as “a carpenter and contractor, one of the pushing men engaged in that line of business in the city. He is a man of very sound sense and is one of our highly useful citizens.” Despite his “sound sense”, he lost the election. In 1902-03 McLean was listed as a mason, and in 1904 he was foreman of the Idaho Vitrified Brick and Pipe Co. In 1906 he was manager for the Intermountain Building Material Co. which had a brickmaking plant at the north end of 13th Street near what is now Camel’s Back Park. He was superintendent of construction for the new Odd Fellows Hall in Hyde Park in 1903.
His abilities with brick and masonry construction led him to purchase the lots at the southwest corner of Franklin and 7th streets and in spring of 1903 plan for the erection of two brick houses. Two houses became 3 brick terraces which were noted to have cost $8,500. No architect has been identified for the buildings, but McLean’s son Harry was a draftsman working in architectural offices. It is possible that Harry designed the terraces for his father.
In July of 1905, James McLean was elected to the Boise City Council, but a few months later sold his brick houses to John Flack of Logan Utah for $12,000. At the time they were noted as an 8 room residence and two 6 room residences.
Despite his interest in the Intermountain Building Material Company, James McLean was not noted after 1906.
The terraces were remodeled after 1982.
Source: Dan Everhart
Photos: IDS – 1905-1-15.JPG, Bob Hartman Photo (c. 1915)