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After fire, Boise’s bandshell still sits behind fences. Here’s the status

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Earlier this year, BoiseDev reported improvements on the way to the Gene Harris Bandshell in Julia Davis Park.

BoiseDev Project Tracker

  • Gene Harris Bandshell

    Click here for details, information & past stories

Fire broke out at the 90-year-old bandshell in April of 2018. A year-and-a-half later, the structure still sits behind temporary fences.

City officials hoped to have the bandshell done in time for an anniversary celebration they held for the Boise River Greenbelt in September.

“The project has been delayed due to the insurance adjustment and the contractor bidding and design process,” Boise Parks & Rec Communication Manager Bonnie Shelton said. She noted those things aren’t uncommon for a project of this size.

Shelton said even though exterior work and the overall project didn’t get done on the hoped-for timeline, crews did start on the interior.

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“A green room and restrooms will be added inside the bandshell interior so it will be more functional for performances,” she said.

Parks and Rec ordered a new fabric system that will help provide shade for performances in the hot summer months.

Shelton said the full project could wrap sometime next year.

Bandshell’s history

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 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.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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