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O'Farrell House

O'Farrell House
Building Location 420 W. Franklin
Boise, Idaho 83702
Downtown Neighborhood
Ada County
Building Status Private
Year Built
Architectural Style Colonial Revival
Architect
Type
Material

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This large brick home located on the corner of Fourth Street and Franklin was the second home of the O’Farrell family. John O’Farrell is considered the founder of Boise, as he built the first residence in the area in 1863. After several years of living in the single room cabin, O’Farrell commissioned a new home to be built to accommodate his seven person family. In 1892, this five bedroom, five bathroom home was built not far from the town’s original residence. It was built in a colonial revival style, characterized by its efforts to revive elements of architectural style, garden design, and interior layouts of American colonial architecture. This movement gained momentum in the 1890s and was accelerated in the early 20th century. According to the current owner, Jenny Schmoeger, there have only been four or five owners since the structure was built. Additionally, it has remained as a single family home throughout its use, unlike several other North End homes that were converted into businesses over the years. Nearly everything in the home is original, and there have been only minimal remodels to the interior, including the kitchen which was updated to twenty-first century standards two years ago. It’s about 3,000 square feet, not including the back porch, which was used as a sleeping porch during the summers before air conditioning. All the owners have attempted to keep the house close to original, and the things they have changed were updated while staying as close to the community as possible. For example, the fence and pergola were built using wood from the Dewey Palace Hotel in Nampa. Additionally, the master bathroom was remodeled using the same marble as was used in the capitol building, located only a few blocks away. Schmoeger says that one of her favorite aspects of the house is the view from her living room. From the original corner window, the capitol building is visible. Shmoeger said that looking at the symbol of Idaho through the original wavy glass window reminds her of the rich history that she gets to live every day in her home.

Building submitted by Andi Di Matteo & Elle Fisher

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