The Harry Wyman house at 1107 N 8th Street is a fantastic display of Queen Anne style that has lasted through a century of recession, renovation, and restoration. With such a grand history of preservation, the Harry Wyman house exemplifies the importance of the beloved Queen Anne houses to citizens and their importance to Boise history and architecture. Since the house has been renovated throughout the century, it also serves as a link to history and style throughout the last 2 centuries. Not only is the house a link to past construction, but it was an onlooker through Boise history in the 1900s and plays a role in the formation of what Boise is today.
The Harry Wyman House has a fascinating history that starts with its construction. The land where the house currently stands was purchased in 1893 by BV Walker for $700. The lot sat until 1900 when the Harry Wyman House was built on it by Harry Wyman. Harry Wyman was an attorney for the Idaho State Bar and participated in proceedings debating the functions of the Supreme Court. Harry Wyman was also an owner of a subsidy of Idaho Power which ultimately made him one of the founders and organizers of Idaho Power. This makes the Harry Wyman house an important link to one of the most influential companies in Boise today. The house’s creation in 1900 also qualifies it as one of the first electric powered houses in Boise which adds to its illuminating background pertaining to Idaho Power history in Boise. By its position on 8th street and its Queen Anne style, the house was an upper class and distinguished home for the time. After Harry Wyman built and moved to a house on Harrison Boulevard, the Harry Wyman house was the home of many owners and was renovated and remodeled over 6 times in the next 60 years. During this time an outside staircase, a bedroom, and basement with a coal furnace, extra walls and other changes were made to the house. The house had also been converted into a duplex and a triplex during this time and held the address 1105 as well as 1107. Although such changes were made, the house was in bad shape by the late 1980s and the house had been gutted and was threatened to be torn down by the city. Many transients were also using the house which was becoming a menace to the 8th street neighborhood and to the city of Boise. Many called the Harry Wyman house the Drug House during this time as well, because rumor of drug dealings were said to have occurred there. By 1990, the Harry Wyman house was purchased by Burch Construction under Scott Burch, which saved the house from its imminent destruction. The 1990 renovation of the Harry Wyman house was the major turning point in the house’s existence and was essential in the preservation of Boise history and architecture. Under the direction of Scott Burch, the Harry Wyman house went through a two year period of reconstruction and renovation that made it much of what it is today. The house was also renovated in 2003 with minor adjustments to the house. The Harry Wyman house is an amazing house whose presence illuminates the wonderful style of Old Boise on 8th Street. In conjunction with the many cathedrals and other Victorian houses in the North End, the Harry Wyman house adds a sense of practical conformity in its position and heightens the uniqueness of Boise city. With its unique Queen Anne architecture and its surprising past, the Harry Wyman house really stands out as an important part of not only Boise architecture, but Boise history and appreciation.