Property Type: Commercial
Neighborhood: Downtown  |  County: Ada  |  Building Status: Public  |  Architectural Style: Enframed Window Wall
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700 W. State Street is where the Mirror Building is nested; the capitol on its front and old relics of churches and buildings encircled around it. It looks like a modern twist in the middle of antiques, and thus, has more eye catching character as it stands out from the rest of Boise. It was named after Joe R. Williams, who was for 30 years the state auditor in Idaho, and proudly displays his name on the block in front of the building. Its modern flare and attitude is credited to the designer and architect, Dennis Adams, my grandpa, and stands as one of his many amazing works for Boise, not including the Historical Museum, and the remodel of the St. Alphonsus Hospital. The blue prints of the building showed the attention to detail of where every piece was to be cut and how many inches it would be, and he made sure that it was. My grandpa being the perfectionist that he is made sure that nothing was off by a centimeter. He wanted the building to be “different” he said, and did so for sure. The building was and is in fact different, he said that the firm he was with wanted to see a more contemporary take on downtown Boise, almost “bank-like” he quotes, and he gave back what they wanted down to a tee. The hardest part of its establishing was the actual mirrored look with the glass shields all around the structure. Grandpa said that he held his breath for God knows how long when the glass was lowered ever so slowly into its right places, and became super relieved when it was completed! The buildings’ significance to the city of Boise was in fact its attention to detail, and its beauty. When walking by it you can see the reflection of the beautiful greenery, and the capitol building in its mirrors. It is indeed a breathtaking structure and its dedication to Joe R. Williams shows the respect and time that he gave to Idaho in the day.

The Architecture of this building is in an Enframed Window Wall style. It’s mainly a commercial building style that definitely speaks for itself with exactly an enframed window that is a wall on all four corners. The other half of its style could be reminiscent of Sullivan style which my grandpa was indeed thinking about when creating the structure. The evidence is in the photos themselves, the mirrored stories represent the eye catching commercial bank style , while the bottom story shows pillars, and an almost 70s style paneled look to it. The heavy stone pillars tend to support the upper structure.   The detail in the walls behind the pillars are different form the rest of the mirrored building which give it the Sullivanesque style and make the building seem more contemporary than others around it. The significance if the mirror building to the neighborhood is definitely the major difference in style and looks; the contrast to the mirror building is seen in the capitol and them any churches encircling it, and my grandpa wanted that artistic box flare to pop out in the antique looks around it.


Works Consulted
Vogeler, Ingolf. “Architectural Style- En-framed Window Wall.” UWEC G367 Vogeler — Architectural Styles. UWEC, 15 June 1996. Web. 27 May 2013.
Dennis Adams: Architect for Hummel Architecture Firm and designer of the St. Alphonsus, St. John’s Cathedral, and the Idaho Historical Museum.