ITD to co-sponsor two-day conference
The Idaho Transportation Department joins five other organizations in sponsoring a two-day conference Sept. 4, 5, that focuses on mid-century architecture and historic preservation.
"Modernism in the Northwest will bring national and local experts to Boise for discussions that range from mid-century architectural styles and interior design to recording and evaluating the recent past, and a bus tour of Boise’s mid-century architecture, including ITD Headquarters that was constructed in 1961.
The varied agenda is targeted for practitioners of architecture and architectural history as well as cultural resource consultants and the general public. It will focus on identifying and evaluating architectural resources that “embody the distinctive characteristics of mid-century (20th) American architecture,” residential and commercial structures from the post-World War II era (1945-1975) and their stylistic details.
Dr. Meredith Clausen, a professor of architectural history who specializes in 19th and 20th century architecture at the University of Washington in Seattle, will present an evening lecture on “Pietro Belluschi and the Emergence of Modernism" on the opening day of the conference. Her lecture is free and open to the public, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Intermountain Gas Company building, 555 Cole Road.
Co-sponsoring the conference with ITD are: U.S. Department of Transportation, the Idaho State Historical Society Preservation Idaho and the Idaho Historic Preservation Council, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Modern Hotel and Bar.
ITD’s Dan Everhart, an architectural historian who joined the department in 2006, and Judith Johnson, also an architectural historian, are among the conference presenters.
“There is a lot of information on architecture prior to World War II, but very little about the period afterwards,” Everhart said in the August/September issue of Treasure Magazine, published by the Idaho Statesman.
“Because of the boom that followed the war, a large percentage of the buildings we are looking at now were built after 1945, and few of us are equipped to evaluate and analyze or even describe it,” he added.
“We want people to be able to recognize these things wherever they age, in Portland or Boise or Winnemucca (Nev.)”
Among the Treasure Valley structures that fit the category are: The Boise Cascade building, the former Idaho Statesman building at 6th and Bannock, the Imperial Plaza, Intermountain Gas Company complex, the McClure Federal Courthouse (1966) and the Home Federal Building, along with Dwaine Carver’s Boise Bench home designed and built by architect Arthur Troutner, founder of Trus-Joist International.
Most of the conference sessions will be in the ITD Headquarters auditorium.