Boise’s skyline seems to get an update every few months as the city continues to boom. Some of the most impressive buildings have been around for decades, while others are new to the downtown city view. Boise’s tallest buildings include icons from the 20s and 30s with some stunning newcomers on the scene.
1. Eighth & Main
Height: 323 ft
Size: 390,000 sq ft
Architect: CTA / Babcock Design
In 1987, a devastating fire destroyed the Eastman Building that had sat at 8th and Main Streets in Downtown Boise for 82 years. After decades of disuse, the lot became known as “the hole” to locals, gaining even more notoriety as a failed construction project left the pit covered in steel. Finally, in mid-2012, construction began on the Eighth & Main Building, also known as the Zions Bank Building. In 2014, it officially opened with the help of the Goo Goo Dolls and an enthusiastic crowd of locals. Today, Eighth & Main is not only the tallest building in Boise, but the tallest building in Idaho.
2. US Bank Plaza
Height: 267 ft
Size: 256,208 sq ft
Architect: Welton Becket and Associates
The US Bank Building, clocking in at 267 feet tall with 19 floors, towered over Downtown Boise as the tallest building in the state from its construction until 2013. Fun fact: the US Bank Building does not have a floor numbered “13” due to the superstitions surrounding the number 13. Instead, the building’s floors are numbered 1-20, skipping the number 13. According to some estimates, up to 85% of the world’s skyscrapers did not have a 13th floor at one point.
3. Idaho State Capitol
Height: 208 ft
Size: 201,720 sq ft
Architect: John E. Tourtellotte and Charles Hummel
One of Idaho’s oldest buildings remains the third tallest in Downtown Boise: the Idaho State Capitol. Full of rich history and completed in 1912, the Capitol has recently received a facelift and a new underground wing. The marble and stone building held its title as the tallest in the state for over six decades, until the 1960s brought economic growth for the city of Boise.
4. One Capital Center
Height: 206 ft
Architect: John Graham & Associates
A high rise building in Downtown Boise, One Capital Center was the first office tower constructed in the city’s downtown core. With recent renovations to its lobby and interiors, the building is 14 stories tall and houses dozens of businesses. One Capital Center is a landmark of the Boise skyline with its modern, no-nonsense exterior and sleek office spaces.
5. The Grove Hotel
Height: 196 ft
The Grove Hotel is a familiar sight for Boise residents, with its functional and modern design. On the corner of Capitol and Front Streets, the Grove Hotel’s river sculpture brightens the view. The Grove Hotel features an elegant, European-style entryway and is 16 stories tall. The top two floors of The Grove Hotel are private condominium residences, once home to the late Idaho Billionaire, J.R. Simplot.
6. The Aspen Lofts
Height: 194 ft
Architect: Tamura & Associates
Built in 2009 on the corner of Idaho and 13th Streets, The Aspen Lofts building is a perfect example of the continued modernization and growth of Downtown Boise. This sleek building has an unusual design, with a slim width compared to its towering height of 194 feet tall. The Aspen Lofts is home to luxury condominiums and joins a growing number of new downtown housing options.
7. Wells Fargo Center
Height: 182 ft
Size: 200,000 sq ft
Architect: Morris Architects
Wells Fargo and several law offices inhabit the Wells Fargo Building, a postmodern architectural tower on Main Street in Downtown Boise. Built with marble and glass, it’s an imposing and beautiful building, and at 11 floors and 182 feet tall, it’s one of the most recognizable landmarks in Boise.
8. Banner Bank Building
Height: 181 ft
Architect: HDR, Inc.
A newer addition to the Boise skyline claims the number eight spot on our list: the Banner Bank Building. Built in 2006, the Banner Bank Building is home to several businesses, including, of course, Banner Bank. The 11-story building was designed with the environment in mind and has a modern architectural flair. The LEED platinum-certified building uses 50% less energy compared to other structures of a similar size.
9. Key Financial Center
Height: 174 ft
Architect: W.C. Kruger & Associates
The Key Bank Building, home of KeyBank and the Key Business Center, is the 9th tallest building in Downtown Boise. Sitting on the corner of Grove Plaza, Key Financial Center has 13 floors and is 174 feet tall. The building features several executive suites and virtual offices. Built in 1983, the building first housed the original Bank of Idaho.
10. Albertsons Stadium
Height: 170 ft
Clocking in at 170 feet tall, Albertsons Stadium—home of the Boise State Broncos—is the 10th tallest structure in Boise. Originally called Bronco Stadium, the 36,387-seat stadium is a well-known landmark in the area with its famous blue turf. It roars to life every autumn when the Broncos kick off their homecoming game and fans pack the stands to watch their home team take on opponents. Albertsons Stadium was built in 1970 and has proven to be a tough place for BSU opponents. With a 121-9 at home record since 1999, fans have come to expect a home game smackdown on the blue turf almost every time.
Lisa Kohl is a top Idaho Realtor and creator of WeKnowBoise.com. From Southeast Boise to The North End, up to Eagle and West to Meridian, or right in the middle of the Boise Bench and downtown - We Know Boise. Whether buying or selling a home, we provide full-service real estate solutions dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals.
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