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Blue Coffin House

Blue Coffin House
Building Location Warm Springs Dr.
boise, Idaho 83712
Warm Springs/East End Neighborhood
Ada County
Building Status Private
Year Built
Architectural Style Colonial Revival
Architect
Type
Material

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This beautiful pastel blue house is located on Warm Springs Avenue, playing a part in one of Boise’s most historic streets. The house was built in 1915 by Boise architects Wayland and Fennel. Craig Coffin, former President of Boise City National Bank, had originally asked for the home to be built for his personal use. There are many characteristics which illustrate the colonial revival style. One aspect is the symmetrical outside of the house with three windows on each side of the doorway. Another characteristic of the colonial revival style is the roof with a side gable made of wood shingles; this makes for a very symmetrical roof top. As a whole, the home is built with a circular layout, mainly for entertainment. On the right side of the house, next to the backyard is a two car deep garage. However, the garage doesn’t serve just one purpose. On top of the garage is an apartment, in which the current owner rents out to help pay taxes. Being built in 1915, the house was a time when many used butlers around their home; therefore the basement downstairs was originally a butler’s quarters. Located in the kitchen is a butler’s bell, although it doesn’t work anymore, it initially led down into the basement when it was rang to contact the butler. While there are multiple wonderful homes located on Warm Springs, this one is unique in a few subtle ways. One unique aspect includes the numerous amounts of windows located throughout the house. Each window is unique in that it has 4 panels down and 3 across. The home is still in almost perfect original condition, in that the only remodeled part is the kitchen. Built as a two storied house, the main level is built with oak floors and the second story is built with mostly maple. Throughout the home there are three bathrooms along with a toilet in the basement. There are two sleeping porches which have large windows covering three sides of the walls. There are also four bedrooms and two staircases. The main set of stairs, seen from entering through the front door is lined with beautiful Belgian wool carpets. Although the majority of the house is in its original condition, each room has been re-wallpapered. The current owners have kept the original style within the home, collecting many antiques for decoration, along with original crown molding which lines each room. Another addition to the house is two fireplaces located in the basement and the living room. Contrary to its outward appearance, behind the house is a vast backyard, extremely green and lush, nourished by the river running through the yard. Not only does the river sustain the yard, but the warm water running along Warm Springs Avenue also provides geothermal heat to both the house and the garage. On the back side of the house, the porch was originally surrounded by a screen, until the second owners replaced it with glass and attached it to the inside. Craig lived on the property until his death in 1939. Soon after, the house was sold to Robert Davis, the president and chairman of the Idaho Plumbing and Hardware Company. He and his wife added the glass porch in the living room, modernized the kitchen, and added a second story to the existing home. The second story contains chauffeur quarters in the garage bay. The Davis' sold the house to Armand Sarci in 1970. Then Sarci sold the house in 1971 to the current residents Bill and Flora Skillern. The Skillern's have been living in the home for over 35 years. The home features crown molding all around the inside of the home. Almost all the inside is original to the house's construction except the wallpaper, the granite on the kitchen counter, and the kitchen flooring which is oak. For the most part, the successive owners of this beautiful home, have stayed true to its original style. They have made a few updates to the home, to make it more liveable (i.e the kitchen) in the 21st century. Owners have had to replace things over time but even the replacements (i.e. wallpaper), have stayed true to the original style of this historic colonial revival home.

Building submitted by Natalie Waller, Morgan Kitzmiller, Khoa Ngyuen and Alyssa Velicky

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