The outside of the Basque Museum & Cultural Center in downtown Boise could see some upgrades.
Rodney Evans + Partners want to improve the area and the sidewalks surrounding the building. The project would add artwork benches and pavers to fill existing planter beds.
“Design and materials of the proposed project will comply with Historic Design guidelines, specifically the Basque Block,” the letter of intent said. “Materials will include benches (material to be determined), granite and metal replicas of the lifting stones, and concrete pavers to match existing sidewalk treatments along this portion of Grove St. in downtown Boise.”
The applicant wants to add stone replicas to the planters to pay homage to stone lifting- a Basque sport where stones are lifted onto shoulders.
“It is a tribute to the work that the Basque people undertook to build fences, homes, and survive,” the letter said. “To honor the history of stone lifting, replicas of the various stone shapes are to be placed in the planter bed. There will be three shapes in total with the sphere and cube made from granite, and a cylinder made from metal.”
The number of stones built will depend on the amount of money fundraised.
The project also entails removing plants near the building for various reasons, including potential toxicity.
“The removal of these plants will enhance the urban nature of the streetscape and create a sidewalk condition that is much more cohesive with the adjacent parcels,” the letter said. “The existing downspout/drain and ADA door actuator will not be affected by the project. Ultimately, the building facade and architecture will remain unchanged, with these improvements enhancing the visibility and contribution to the community that the Basque Museum & Cultural Center provides.”
The letter said the project is going to be funded through a mix of fundraising and donations.