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Idaho Falls City


Idaho Falls City Hall is located at 308 Constitution Way, Idaho Falls, ID 83405; phone: 208-612-8414.

Beginnings [1]

The town of Eagle Rock grew at the site of a toll bridge over the Snake River that was constructed by J. M. Taylor in 1864 and 1865. The gold rush to Idaho and Montana had resulted in an increase in the number of people needing to cross the river, and the junction of a Salt Lake-Montana road with a westbound connector to the Lander Road and the Oregon Trail became a natural location for a trading settlement. The rapid expansion of commercial ventures in the town after rail service arrived in 1879 and the location there of Utah Northern Railroad shops in 1880 allowed the town's population to stabilize and grow. The relocation of the railroad shops to Pocatello in 1887 resulted in a decrease in population in Idaho Falls, but as irrigated agriculture developed in the area, the town expanded to become the economic and trade center for the surrounding region and a religious center for Mormon settlers in southeast Idaho. In 1891 the town name was changed to Idaho Falls.

While physical development of the Idaho Falls business district was a gradual process, by 1921 the multiple resource area had a full streetscape of brick and stone buildings except in the northeast area of the present central business district. After 1921 the major building consisted of infill and the redesign of existing buildings. During the previous three decades, frame buildings were replaced, one-story buildings were expanded, and residential and industrial establishments were relocated outside the area and replaced with commercial buildings. These physical changes reflect the informal local planning that shaped many Idaho towns, with dense commercial development along a river or a railroad in this case along both. These changes also reflect the rapid expansion of settlements that accompanied the advent of irrigation in southern Idaho.

  1. Don Syzmansky, architectural historian and Jennifer Eastman Atteberry, architectural historian, Idaho State Historical Society, Idaho Falls Multiple Resource Area, nomination document, 1984, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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