A year after fire, city set to restore, upgrade Gene Harris Bandshell

A year after a fire at the Gene Harris Bandshell at Julia Davis Park, the City of Boise is announcing plans to restore the 91-year-old building.

Boise Fire responded to a fire on April 23 of 2018. The department initially said the fire caused instability in the structure that would make it a total loss. They later updated to note damage was not as extensive as first feared.

Now, Boise Parks and Recreation hopes to refurbish the bandshell and possibly add new amenities.

“Our team understands the importance of preserving the historic details of the bandshell and will work with contractors to preserve this important structure’s character and charm,” Doug Holloway, Boise Parks and Recreation director said in a news release. “For example, the tiles saved from the bandshell’s roof will be used in repairing the structure.”

Upgrades: planned & possible

Construction crews will restore the roof and walls, plus add a new green room inside. Leaders plan restroom upgrades, LED lighting and new control boards. The cost of these baseline improvements is pegged at $430,000 and would be covered by insurance.

[Nearly a thousand new housing units planned near Julia Davis Park, downtown]

The city may also add a shade structure to the bandshell, as well as additional lighting, A/V equipment and an accessible viewing area. These extra enhancements could cost an additional $400,000. The city is determining a way to pay for the upgrades.

The Parks & Recreation Department does not yet have a timeline for construction, but says it should be complete in time for a September event honoring the 50th anniversary of the Boise River Greenbelt.

Last year, Boise Fire officials said people caused the fire. A Boise Police spokesperson said police did not identify a suspect in the fire.

Bandshell a Boise icon

Crews built the Julia Davis Park Bandshell in 1928, according to Boise State Public Radio. Leaders held a large community celebration to commemorate the opening. BSPR said architects drew inspiration from the nearby Boise Depot and its Spanish Mission styling.

The open-air stage hosted hundreds of community events over the years, including as a central focus for the Boise River Festival.

Leaders renamed the structure in honor of long-time Idahoan Gene Harris in 2001. The renowned jazz musician died the previous year.

You power BoiseDev.

We need your help – a membership makes these stories possible (and gets you a great daily newsletter). Sign up today

Don Dayhttp://linkedin.com/in/donday
Don has been covering news in Boise for 20 years. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

ACHD says it will fight new CCDC areas: says they are ‘gerrymandered,’ illegal

The president of the Ada County Highway District sent a strongly-worded, lengthy letter to the chairman of the Capital City Development Corporation...

Bird bump: Scooter company raises ride rates in Boise

With summer on the way, Bird, the escooter company, increased its ride rates in Boise. Rides now cost $0.31...

Boise’s Carnegie Library gets new owner, purpose

The Carnegie Library on Washington St. is one of Boise's oldest - and grandest - building. Now, after an abandoned plan...

Big business: Boise’s Albertsons, Micron increase ranking on annual Fortune list

Fortune Magazine is out with its latest list of the top 500 businesses in the US, ranked by revenues. Two Idaho...

‘One of the largest deals ever:’ New firm buys big portfolio of valley buildings and land

BoiseDev FIRST members got this story before the general public. Sign up today to get our scoops in your inbox.

Solutions sought after project to cleanup Downtown alley moves grease & trash juice onto sidewalk

A new location for some of Downtown Boise's trash is making for a sticky and smelly situation along Bannock St.