Wonder of wonders. Team Dave is talking about some limited access to the Boise Depot for the general public in addition to those who rent it nearly every weekend for close to $1,000. Election years are great fun.
A plan by historian Todd Shallat would use some portions of the Depot for historic displays. Currently the Depot is open to the public that owns it for only 4 hours a week–Monday afternoon.
The parks staff is suggesting doubling the open time to include 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays…or any other day.
With the State Capitol being closed for renovations, the Depot is about the only prominent historic building in the City that could honestly be called a tourist attraction. The city is missing a bet if they fail to get it open to the public for the entire tourist season.
The 1925 Spanish Mission-style structure is described by Shallat as a “bookend” on Capitol Boulevard opposite the State Capitol.
The GUARDIAN has advocated public access to the building for more than two years. We have been met only with promises, intentions, and excuses. Now Team Dave proposes the parks department and historian ”conduct public outreach” on the idea and “develop an analysis and implementation plan.” We probably agree–whatever that all means.
For the Depot to be properly recognized as a historical and cultural icon, it needs to be open for long hours during the tourist season, allow access to the bell tower, and be promoted in brochures and posters in hotels. It is an ideal location for a visitor information bureau.
The GUARDIAN has made some initial contacts with ACHD and hoteliers. They seem agreeable to the idea of a visitors bureau at the Depot and will probably provide directional signs and funds to make it happen–so far no one has asked them.
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