Locals call this historic mansion the Lion House—for good reason.
Statues of two lions were added to the exterior during the 1980s and now flank the five-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom home’s stately entrance. On the market for $2.7 million, it sits on North Harrison Boulevard in Boise’s North End, less than 2 miles from downtown.
The current owners, who purchased the home in 2014, decorate the lions for every holiday. The home was built in 1911 for a family that fled San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake.
“They built this house to last,” says the listing agent, Janet Jameyson of Silvercreek Realty Group.
The materials used during construction ensure the home’s longevity—and tranquility.
“It is 12 inches of concrete all the way up. It also makes it very quiet,” Jameyson says, also noting the property’s “beautiful landscaping and very private” setting.
The interior of the nearly 8,400-square-foot home is filled with original features, including woodwork, quarter-sawn oak floors, stacked crown molding, a dramatic staircase, fireplaces, and built-ins.
It also shares the same architect, J.E. Tourtellotte, as two Boise landmarks: the 1927 Egyptian Theatre and the Idaho State Capitol building. Today the home is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Although it’s historical, the home’s been modernized.
“It’s been completely redone as far as the guts of it—heating, plumbing, air conditioning and electricity—but when you walk through the house, it’s very original,” says Jameyson.
A walk-in pantry, banquettes, and granite countertops in the kitchen—plus a wine cellar on the finished lower level—are complemented by updated, top-of-the line appliances, including a Sub-Zero fridge and Viking stove. The bathrooms have a mix of historic and haute, with such amenities as a clawfoot tub, marble and mosaic, and walk-in showers. The windows throughout are original. An outdoor kitchen makes it easy to entertain in the yard.
The current owner, who has had the property for seven years, converted the former garage into a casita and added a new three-car garage. Another former owner was Idaho’s governor, who lived here from 1919 to 1923.
“It was a pretty high-society place to live,” says Jameyson, who notes that contemporary newspaper clippings have a lot to say about society events held in the home.
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Today, North End is filled with “historic charm,” she adds, “and all the oldest homes in town are there.”
It’s also among Boise’s most expensive neighborhoods.
Jameyson believes that the buyer is likely to be local, and familiar with Harrison Boulevard’s prestige and the history of this home.
“We get a lot of buyers from California, and a lot of times they’re paying in cash. However, this is not the type of house we think they would buy. They’re not necessarily looking for these older homes,” she says. “They’re probably not going to come from out of state.”
Another perk of this neighborhood? Handing out candy at Halloween and decorating during the winter holidays.
“Everybody on the block decorates to the nth degree,” says Jameyson.