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Boundary County Courthouse - Bonners Ferry, ID
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 48° 41.763 W 116° 18.833
11U E 550488 N 5393895
Quick Description: A project of the WPA, this art deco courthouse was completed in 1940. Its façade contains three bas relief panels designed by Fletcher Martin, one of only four WPA art projects known in Idaho.
Location: Idaho, United States
Date Posted: 6/15/2014 12:50:27 PM
Waymark Code: WMKYGX
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 0

Long Description:
The Boundary County Courthouse is significant under criterion "A" in the context of the development of county government as supported by WPA and PWA monies throughout the Depression years. The building is significant under criterion "C" in the context of the architecture of Idaho's county courthouses and as a local example of institutional architecture. The building retains its original massing and most of its Art Deco style features, including its concrete walls, decorative bas reliefs, and fenestration. The remaining original fabric conveys the important characteristics of Art Deco style, and the building conveys a sense of the period in which it was built as a late WPA project. The bas reliefs by Fletcher Martin are among only eight WPA public art projects identified in Idaho surveys.

Because the building is part of a finite and endangered group of resources associated with the WPA in Idaho and because it is associated with a relief program that had exceptional impact on the Idaho landscape and economy during the Depression years, the building is presented for nomination before it reaches the 50 year mark. Boundary County received support from the WPA regional office in Portland, Oregon, for construction of a new courthouse after an initial NIRA grant of $16,646 was rescinded. The courthouse was completed in 1940. As significant as the building itself is the set of three bas relief panels designed by Fletcher Martin, one of four WPA public art works identified in Idaho to date. Martin, a former resident of Emmett, Idaho, was based in Los Angeles before he succeeded Thomas Hart Benton as head of Kansas City Art Institute's department of painting and drawing. In Idaho, he designed the initial concept of Ada County Courthouse murals and the Kellogg Post Office murals. Neither project met with his satisfaction, and the Boundary County bas reliefs remain our best example of his Idaho work.

Like most of Idaho's county courthouses, the Boundary courthouse is the most ambitious and stylistically elaborate architectural design of its era, in its locality and its region, and deserves National Register listing on that basis as well as for its contribution to our understanding of the range of architectural designs used for courthouses in Idaho.
From the Idaho Historical Society

Street address:
6452 Kootenai Street
Bonners Ferry, ID USA

County / Borough / Parish: Boundary County

Year listed: 1987

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Politics/Government, Art, Architecture

Periods of significance: 1925-1949

Historic function: Government - Courthouse

Current function: Government - Courthouse

Privately owned?: no

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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