3800 Kootenai St
Boise, Idaho 83705
The Bench Neighborhood
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Wendell J. Roberson and his wife Mabel (Betty) were married in San Francisco in 1942 and moved to Boise in 1954. In December, 1955 the couple purchased a lot in Craig?s Subdivision on the northwest corner of Kootenai and Latah Streets from Robert W. Meyers. Meyers was a building contractor, and it is possible that their corner lot house was built by him. Like other builders, Meyers may have consulted a catalog of house plans for inspiration. Plan books had been popular since the early 1900s, but at the end of World War II, several companies offered home building plans that would appeal to a new, modern audience. At the time of its construction, this one-story mid-century house would have been considered a progressive plan. The house appears to offer a private setting and the occupants are shielded from the street by the concrete block wall. The clerestory windows provide privacy from the street, but allow ample light into the rooms. A major change during the 1950s was altering the primary focus of the house from the street to the backyard. No longer was the front porch a welcome invitation to visit with the neighborhood. Now the emphasis was placed on the sanctuary of the backyard with the emerging presence of the patio and sliding glass doors. The simple exterior, vertical siding, and horizontal roof lines give the house a clean, uncluttered appearance. This plan was used for houses in the Highlands and Randolph Robertson, two mid-century subdivisions in Boise. Born in Colorado in 1921, Wendell Roberson lived in Boise for 35 years. At the time he moved into the house on Kootenai, Roberson was working for Levi Strauss and Co., as a sales representative. The Robersons lived in the home for five years. In 1959 the house was sold to Kent and Helen Rubow. Kent was the president of Capital Lumber Company. Helen died in 1961, but Kent continued his occupancy of the house. At his death in 1999, members of the Rubow family had lived in the house for four decades. This home was featured on the 13th Annual Heritage Homes Tour in 2015 thanks to the generosity of the current homeowners Dusty Williams and Julie Suitter.
Building submitted by Preservation Idaho