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Eleventh Street Historic District

Idaho Falls City, Bonneville County, ID


Eleventh Street Historic District, Idaho Falls

Photo: Home on 11th Street, Eleventh Street Historic District, Idaho Falls. Renee Magee, photograoher, 1995, from the nomination document. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1997.


Introduction.

The Eleventh Street Historic District [†] embodies the ideal American residential neighborhood of the early 20th-century. Single family homes, most with front porches, are separated from the narrow streets by sidewalks and treed planting strips. The plat of which the District is part was laid out by one developer prior to 1900, but the homes were built individually, lot by lot, by various contractors, architects, and owners over a period of almost fifty years. The district, with its array of housing styles ranging from Queen Anne to Art Moderne, contains a concentration of relatively unaltered homes which reflect residential styles popular in southeastern Idaho in the early twentieth century.

General Characteristics.

The Eleventh Street Historic District includes all or portions of eleven blocks in Crow's Addition. Crow's Addition is a rectilinear grid of sixty-four blocks which was platted as an addition to Eagle Rock (now Idaho Falls) in September, 1890. When originally platted, a small slough wound through the center of the addition but the creek was covered in 1916 and is no longer an important part of the landscape. The primary streets of the district run east-west and, with only thirty-seven feet of paving, are narrow for communities in southeastern Idaho. The streets are bordered by a planting strip where the first homeowners planted ash, maple, cottonwood, and other larger trees. The terrain in Crow's Addition is level, and the yards of the district's homes rise only a few feet above the street grade. The houses are set close to the street, and the lots are deep and narrow and cover slightly over 6,000 square feet. Although constructed in a variety of styles and materials, most of the houses are similar in scale and are one story, many with an open front porch.

By 1900 the original townsite was fully developed. People who wished to build homes in Idaho Falls looked to the vacant lands in the numbered streets of Crow's Addition, especially Eleventh Street. By 1921, seventy percent of the homes in the district were built, and public utilities and sidewalks had been laid. Most of the remaining vacant properties in the district were filled in during the 1930s. By 1945, virtually all the existing homes within the district had been built. The district has changed little since 1945: the major portion of the streetscape has retained the canopy of trees, the narrow spacing between homes, and the pedestrian scale. Although some of the homes have been altered by the use of newer exterior materials, the district, has a whole, has undergone little alteration.

Defining Elements.

>p>The Eleventh Street Historic District is defined as well as unified by its street pattern and design, the age and variety of homes, and the uniform sighting of buildings. The streets in the earliest plats of Idaho Falls paralleled the Oregon Short Line Railroad, and the major streets run from southwest to northeast. The streets in Crow's Addition, instead, parallel the surveyed section lines, and the numbered streets, upon which most houses face, run east-west. South Boulevard, a major north-south street serving both the original townsite and Crow's Addition, clearly demarcates the western boundary of the district and severs the Eleventh Street area from its eastern neighbors.

Crow's Addition was platted in 25 foot lots. Most owners purchased two lots resulting in a majority of 50-foot lot widths. The owners placed their homes close to the street, separated from the curb by a small yard, sidewalk and planting strip. The garages were placed in the rear of the lot adjacent to the alley, and long, narrow driveways, many of which were common to two properties, provide access.

The most prevalent styles in the district reflect the age of the neighborhood. In the first peak period of construction, 1900-1920, Queen Anne and Craftsman Bungalow houses were constructed. In the second period during the 1930s, Tudor Revival houses were the dominant style. This architectural variety distinguishes the district from its neighboring blocks. Generally, the period of construction for the blocks to the east as well as the blocks to the south of Thirteenth Street is the late 1940s. The homes are smaller, more uniform in design, and have undergone more alterations. The tree canopy is also generally lacking in the more recently developed areas. Although tree replacement is occurring due to the age of the trees, several large trees still line the streets in the district. The trees, as well as the age, spacing, and seeding of the houses, visually tie the district together. Architectural Styles. The homes within the Eleventh Street Historic District reflect the residential styles popular in southeastern Idaho from 1895 to 1945. Each major housing style in these years — Queen Anne, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, Prairie School, Tudor Revival, and Moderne — is found in the district.

The first homes built in the district were designed in the Queen Anne style. They are typical modest examples found throughout southeastern Idaho, in which the complex massing of Queen Anne has been simplified and ornamentation can include classical elements. The form of Albert H. Wackerli Residence, circa 1905, is the strongest example in the district. It is a one and one-half-story, frame, Queen Anne house with a steeply pitched hipped roof. The asphalt shingle roof has one front-facing gabled dormer and three hipped dormers. Patterned shingles and an oculus are under the gable. On the front facing dormer are a pair of windows with five lights over one large light. The full-width porch is supported by battered, round columns on a wood railing. The Wackerli Residence exhibits the subdued detailing found on Queen Anne homes in southeastern Idaho.

Craftsman bungalows are the most prevalent style of home in the Eleventh Street district. Most were built between 1905 and 1921, and brick and wood clapboard are the most popular wall materials.

The Prairie School influenced the design of the Collins Residence. This two-story foursquare, with a low-pitched hipped roof, has wide, overhanging eaves. The one-story, full-width porch has massive, square supports at the porch ends and round columns resting on a solid balustrade at the central entrance. The porte cochere is also supported by columns on a solid balustrade. The second story has a segmental dormer with a three-part window in the central bay. There are two ribbons of three windows with six lights over one located in each side bay.

There are thirteen examples of Colonial Revival homes in the district, and their years of construction span the period of significance.

The most common late-period style in the district is the Tudor Revival. The common elements found in the district's Tudor Revival homes include multiple front-facing gables, brick walls with simulated half-timbering, prominent chimneys on the larger houses, and multiple-paned windows.

The second Daniel J. Sweeney House, circa 1939, is the only example of Art Moderne style in the district. It is an excellent illustration of the style: it is a two-story stucco house with a flat roof and a ledge at the roof line, horizontal grooves, and wrought-iron balustrade along the second-floor deck. The floor of the deck forms a rounded entry above the main door. Most of the windows are double-hung sash with six lights in each sash.

The impressive Third Ward Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was designed by H. M. Sundberg and built from 1928 to 1934. It is a flat-roofed brick building constructed in a pavilion plan oriented to the south. The central wing is one-half story taller than the side wings. The roof line has decorative concrete trim. The two-story entry is framed by a rounded, concrete surround. In the upper portion of the surround is a rounded tri-part, multi-paned window. On each floor beside the entry is a window with eight lights over eight lights. The upper window has a concrete hood mold. The windows are flanked by brick pilasters topped with concrete pinnacles. Brick pilasters with concrete pinnacles and tall, hooded windows alternate down the side of each elevation on the wings of the building. Only the front door and surrounding glass sections appeared to have been altered. This property is being included in the National Register for it's architectural merit only and not for any religious significance.

There are numerous detached garages in the district. They are typically gable-front and single bay buildings. Some are double-bay structures built on the property line to be shared by neighboring home owners. They are usually constructed with clapboard siding and corner boards or of masonry.

Adapted from: Renee R. Hagee. Assistant Planning Director, City of Idaho Falls, Eleventh Street Historic District, nomination document, 1997, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Street Names
10th Street • 11th Street • 12th Street • 13th Street • 9th Street • Emerson Avenue South • Lee Avenue South • South Boulevard