North End Neighbors to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Booth Home Tonight 

The Booth Home in the Boise North End was recently declared “threatened” by The National Trust For Historic Preservation in its Preservation magazine. The trust quoted Idaho preservation groups, who are worried the Salvation Army, which owns the home, will sell the property to a developer with plans to destroy its historic buildings.

The Salvation Army Booth Home may be in danger of demolition. - BOISE WEEKLY
  • Boise Weekly
  • The Salvation Army Booth Home may be in danger of demolition.
“At our current [North End] location, we can’t do any expansion of programs,” said Major Robert Lloyd, the Treasure Valley Coordinator for Salvation Army Boise. “We’re not on a bus route and the facilities are quite old, and it would not be cost-effective to remodel it for the purposes that we need.”

In 1921, the Salvation Army opened the Booth Home, a maternity home where young women who are pregnant or have children can finish their high school educations and escape possible ostracization in traditional public schools. The Booth Home was accredited as a school in 1963, was renamed the Marian Pritchett School in 2002 to honor its former principal and is still operating today. But now, The Salvation Army has plans to sell the plot of land and school building in anticipation of moving to a new location on the Boise Bench.

click to enlarge Booth Home student Teddy-Lynn Pitka and her 17-month-old daughter, Abilene. - GEORGE PRENTICE
  • George Prentice
  • Booth Home student Teddy-Lynn Pitka and her 17-month-old daughter, Abilene.
“The neighborhood welcomes the fact that there needs to be some change,” said North End Neighborhood Association board member James Jones. “Change is inevitable, we get that. We just want to be part of the process.”

Jones said that the 24th Street property feels very much a part of the community, as its campus isn't fenced in.

“There’s a very high consensus among residents for preserving the core buildings on that property,” said David Klinger, a local writer and community member. “The Booth Home could serve a number of functions. As a community center, a town hall, a home for small businesses or a community coffee shop. There’s room here for everyone to benefit if we do it right. If we simply approach it as a quick buck sale to the highest bidder, then this city’s going to suffer and this neighborhood is going to suffer.”

Meanwhile, Salvation Army officials said they plan to leave it to agents and realtors to handle the sale of the property.

click to enlarge The Booth Home is the result of a rare combined effort by a faith-based organization and a public school district. - JENNY BOWLER
  • Jenny Bowler
  • The Booth Home is the result of a rare combined effort by a faith-based organization and a public school district.
“Our stance is that we’re just going to let the process take over and leave it in the hands of the professionals,” said Lloyd.

Klinger warned that Preservation lists so-called "threatened" landmarks in hopes of gaining local and national attention.

“Any army of salvation needs to keep that in mind: this is not just a sale of a property by a private owner or a corporation. This is a charity and there’s a higher moral responsibility now to see that the right thing is done with this property," said Klinger. "We’re holding the Salvation Army accountable just as the Salvation Army has asked for help from this community for 100 years."

The North End Neighborhood Association will host a town hall discussion on the fate of the Booth Home this evening, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Lowell Elementary School cafeteria.
Pin It
Favorite

Comments


Comments are closed.


Submit an Event

© 2018 Boise Weekly

Website powered by Foundation