City Government

Council To Consider Opening Depot

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.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Mr. Guardian,
    The key words in this whole story is “talking about”.

    Not to worry, after election all this talk will be forgotten about.

  2. Having no publicized tourist atractions is not all bad. Nor is not having signs providing directions to tourists all that detrimental. If everyone had to ask directions, think how many of them we could have headed back west, or east, on the freeway before they realized that they had been had.

    Where can someone view a typical position description for one of the prolific local governmental mouth pieces? There MUST be more to what they get the big bucks for than what we see and hear in the electronic media. They could become depot tour guides and perorm custodial duties in their spare time perhaps? Put their tails to work doing something worthwhile instead of just telling tales for the people we pay to run the various agencies.

  3. Pocupine, no it won’t. Word has it, it was on the council for last week but was pulled at the last minute. Maybe because Bieter was out of town and wouldn’t be here to take credit???

    In the very near future, look for a boatload of volunteers that will man it with a little bit of help from the city.(And a whole lot of credit claimed by Bieter) Ain’t elections fun???

  4. Yep, they’ll talk, develop a plan, etc. Will be interesting to see whether it will keep going beyond that stage — so many things don’t.

    What’s even more interesting is that it took them all these years to finally notice, hey, it’s a public building and it’s not open to the public; maybe we should talk about doing something about it.
    I know the Guardian doesn’t like to blow it’s own horn (Ha!), but I think it could properly take at least some credit for getting the city oaf-fish-als to notice the problem and at least talk about talking about it.

    Keep your fingers (and toes?) crossed, maybe, just maybe, city brass will actually do something sensible instead of just talking.

  5. dh,
    The City has two spokesmouths in the Mayor’s office but you generally don’t know they’re there. They surface every once in a while to say something vapid. I’ve heard from some of the Councilpeople that they are not really allowed to use them. Why? No good reason has been given.

    The ACHD has SIX spokesmouths in their “communications department” although one is the receptionist. They surface constantly, mostly to tell the public how stupid we are and to cover for the idiotic commissioners, who of course, never speak for themselves.

    Could these guys be freed up to do janitorial service? Based on the evidence we see in the media (or lack thereof in the City’s case) you bet they could. But they won’t.

  6. This might be heresy on boiseguardian, but I think that it would be great if the depot could get more use than just an every so often museum. Except for the parking issue, it would work great for an indoor farmer’s/craft market during the winter.

    EDITOR NOTE–We have been talking about a city owned farmers market. Thoughts have surfaced about the area at the end of the connector–easy access for trucks.

  7. Team Dave has gotta love you G Man! Yesterday Tim at the Daily was offering a truckload of onions, today the Daily has an editorial that falls in line with G philosophy.

    You also got the folks at the Daily going on McCall finances and they finally took note of the Ada planning dept. woes. G Man, you sure know how to make friends.

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