Big Mike, the historic steam engine has a new parking spot at the west end of the Boise Depot after being moved from Julia Davis Park.
The Daily paper reports construction will start today on an $86,000 plaza with informational kiosks and signs.
Now, if they can only see their way clear to open the City owned Depot to the public and eliminate the private function catering business, we will have something.
The GUARDIAN has long advocated TRULY opening the depot–especially since the only other building in town worth calling a tourist attraction–the State Capitol–is closed for renovation.
We think the historic Spanish Mission style building should be shared inside and out with tourists and locals alike during the coming summer–and not be open just at token times when no wedding receptions are renting it for $1,000.
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May 1, 2008, 1:06 am
Keep at it Guardian. You’ll wear them down eventually (I hope).
I spose the city sires will say they need the money from the private parties, but seems to me if they can spend what must have been a small fortune to move Big Mike out of his home in a public park visited by thousands of people every year to a should-be public area visited by few because it’s not open, and then spend 86 grand to gussy up his new home, they must have more money than they know what to do with anyway.
May 1, 2008, 5:33 am
They are going to have to rent the Depot out more to make up for all the lost money by property taxes going down on our homes.
Little joke here…
May 1, 2008, 7:45 am
$86,000 for the Big Mike Plaza? That could have been spent on the River Recreation Park.
When I think of Big Mike sitting up there, I’m reminded of the movie Vacation and Clark Griswold’s reaction upon seeing the Grand Canyon. He shook his head twice and promptly said “Ok, let’s go.”
I’m wondering if the informational kiosks are going to reveal the story of how the railroads, um, railroaded America. Especially the 1886 case of Santa Clara County vs. The Union Pacific Railroad where the railroads hit paydirt and the corporate person was born.
Very interesting essay for you history buffs at this link:
The comments on reddit are more interesting than the essay itself:
May 1, 2008, 12:22 pm
I agree with Gordon. What a waste of money. They should be using the depot as a depot. I would actually take up traveling again if it didn’t involve getting on an airplane.
May 1, 2008, 5:50 pm
And I agree with TJ.
I once took Amtrak from Boise to Washington, D.C. I loved it!
A peaceful, relaxing, enjoyable trip. Meals in the dining car, drinks in the bar car, get up and walk the length of the train whenever I felt like it, watch the scenery, chat with people, whatever.
Beats the heck out of being crammed into a too-small seat inside an aluminum tube, with nothing or little to eat, flying so high you can’t see anything but the clouds below.
Then the feds add all the hassle of the “security” stuff (better they should concentrate on fixing the planes. A lot more of them have fallen down on their own than have ever been brought down by hijackers, terrorists, nutcases, whatever you want to call them).
I’d love to travel again without having to drive (and one engine pulls enough people to get a whole lot of cars off the road).
EDITOR NOTE– Gordon enjoyed watching the covered wagons and oxcarts along the way as well.
May 3, 2008, 2:01 pm
When you are driving up Capital Blvd. and see a wedding or other event at the Depot, be certain to honk your horn long, hard and frequently. Not as a protest, but as sharing their celebration.
It may encourage others to honk.
It may have a joyous effect on the use of the public area.
I loved playing at the Depot when I was a kid. We could run inside as well as on the grounds. Never mind riding on the trains – they were for running over our pennies. When we got older we actually got to ride on one! It is a lovely mode of transportation.