Boise Landmark, 'The Wood House,' Rolls Through the Night to New Home 

click to enlarge The Wood House rolled through the streets of Boise in the early morning hours of Nov. 24. - DAN EVERHART, PRESERVATION IDAHO
  • Dan Everhart, Preservation Idaho
  • The Wood House rolled through the streets of Boise in the early morning hours of Nov. 24.


Yet another landmark rolled through the streets of Boise overnight.

The Wood House, a Queen Anne home built circa 1890s for Mary Wood, the first librarian of the then-new Carnegie Library in Boise, was carefully moved Nov. 24 from Boise's Central Addition neighborhood to the corner of 15th and Jefferson streets.

The new owner of the home, Rita Sturiale, said she has plans to breathe new life into the landmark building and create what she'll call Rita's Italian Bistro, Museum and Gift Shop.

The Wood House is the fourth historic home this year to leave Boise's Central Addition neighborhood, first plated at the turn of the 19th century. However, the once popular neighborhood has seen better days. For the past few decades, many Central Addition homes fell victim to decay, vandalism, arson or the wrecking ball.

When a select few citizens stepped forward, with major assistance from Preservation Idaho and LocalConstruct, the latter which now owns the property, plans quickly came together to save the homes by rolling them to new locations.

In the early morning hours of July 1, the Jones House was slowly moved away from the Central Addition to its new resting place near the intersection of Reserve and Fort streets. In early August, the Fowler House, built in 1894, was moved to a new location near Fort and 11th streets. The Beck House, built in 1906, was dismantled and is being rebuilt in the Elmore County community of Atlanta.

In the wee hours of Nov. 24, the new owners of the Jones House (Frank Eld) and the Fowler House (Josh Unger and Jenaleigh Keibert) braved the frigid temperatures to wish Sturiale best of luck with her new venture.

Dan Everhart, of Preservation Idaho, gave major kudos to developers LocalConstruct for helping foot the substantial moving bills to help save the historic homes. LocalConstruct plans to build the The Roost, an urban, apartment/mixed-use development offering 159 mid-rise apartments. The project is expected to be complete in 2017.

click to enlarge (L-R) Frank Eld, owner of the Jones House; Rita Sturiale, owner of the Wood House; and Jenaleigh Keibert and Josh Unger, owners of the Fowler House. - DAN EVERHART, PRESERVATION IDAHO
  • Dan Everhart, Preservation Idaho
  • (L-R) Frank Eld, owner of the Jones House; Rita Sturiale, owner of the Wood House; and Jenaleigh Keibert and Josh Unger, owners of the Fowler House.



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