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Preservation Plan

The purpose of the Capitol Building Preservation Plan is to outline areas of the Capitol that will withstand certain degrees of architectural intervention. The results of the plan determine the amount of space remaining for appropriate office use and provide the basis for the space analysis and utilization plans of the Capitol as designed by CSHQA/Isthmus.

Process of Evaluation

As part of the evaluation process, CSHQA/Isthmus rated each space on every floor of the Capitol, including the basement. Analysis was based on four independent criteria:
  • architectural significance
  • historic significance
  • architectural integrity
  • architectural context
The terms Preservation, Restoration, and Rehabilitation were used to identify recommended approaches to architectural intervention. Preservation requires the highest degree of retention of existing historic fabric and usually is prescribed for spaces exhibiting unique features and materials of superior quality. In Restoration, a specific historic era is deemed integral to a space’s identity and features not of this period are identified for removal. Original features from the restoration period are preserved, while missing features are reconstructed and reinstalled in the designated space. All new work should exhibit form and materials compatible with that of the historic fabric. Placing greater emphasis on the contemporary space utilization, Rehabilitation suggests treatments accommodating modern needs often with the introduction of new materials and technologies, while preserving selected historic features. New work should exhibit form and materials compatible with that of the historic fabric.

Building Survey

A preliminary survey was conducted to locate and record original and non-original materials and provide condition assessments. CSHQA/Isthmus utilized survey data and photographs, incorporating them into drawings to be prepared for later phases of the project. A preliminary room-by-room survey was conducted in the building, concentrating on spaces assumed to be architecturally, structurally, and historically superior. These preliminary results have provided a general understanding of the current condition of the Capitol. CSHQA/Isthmus also surveyed and documented interior finishes, doors, door hardware, light fixtures, plaster stonework, radiator enclosures, and grilles.

The Development of CSHQA/Isthmus’ Proposed Preservation Recommendations

In order to establish preservation recommendations, giving consideration to the building’s unique architectural, structural, mechanical, and historical character, CSHQA/Isthmus implemented a systematic evaluation of building areas. This analysis was done in conjunction with the study of both building and the historic resources available concerning construction and subsequent remodeling that had taken place. As an important first step in facility evaluation, the preservation planning effort has drawn upon survey results and drawing compilation. Although the data remains somewhat preliminary, the design team’s proposed preservation recommendations for the state Capitol will provide the starting point for a dialogue between design team and the Commission on the most appropriate approach to take in preserving Idaho’s preeminent landmark building. Final preservation recommendations appeared in the Master Plan issued in 2000. Please contact Jan Frew with any questions regarding the Master Plan or Preservation Plan.
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