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See Downtown’s Dramatic 10 Year Transformation

Every now and then, a “10 Year Challenge” goes viral on social media. While it’s fun to see everyone’s personal glow-ups, we thought it’d be fun to go back in time on Google Maps and see just how much Boise’s changed over the past decade. 

When you drive into Downtown off the connector, the first thing you see are cranes hard at work on some unfinished projects like Hotel Renegade, the Saratoga Apartments and the 26-story tower known as “The Arthur.” As you pull into the Downtown area, you’re greeted by a number of orange cones and road closure barricades. Sure, some of those are in place because of this new construction. Others are in place for ACHD to bring infrastructure up to modern day standards and keep up with the area’s growth. 

READ MORE: 10 of the Oldest Buildings Still Standing in Boise Today

The scene isn’t all too different to locals that lived in Boise during the construction of the 8th & Main Tower, which eventually filled the infamous “Boise Hole,” JUMP, Residence Inn and the Inn at 500, remember. And it’s not the first time Downtown Boise went through a major transformation. 

Boise Hole (2007)/Image via Google Maps

Boise Hole (2007)/Image via Google Maps

Back in the day, there were plans to put Boise’s first major indoor shopping mall Downtown rather than where Boise Towne Square Mall is today. Preservation Idaho explains that the original plans would’ve seen the mall covering 15 blocks of Downtown. About 13% of Boise’s most historic landmarks and buildings were demolished during the urban renewal phase that would’ve made room for the mall. The remains of some of those buildings can be seen at C.W. Moore Park. 

Bush Building Entrance as seen in CW Moore Park/Image via Google Maps

Bush Building Entrance as seen in CW Moore Park/Image via Google Maps

The original plans included the Egyptian Theater, Union Block Building, Idaho Building (present day Prost! And Cupbop) and the J.O. Jordan and Son Building (present day Merriweather Cider.) We can’t imagine what Downtown Boise would look like without those historic buildings. 

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At the same time, we also can’t fathom that there are about 22,000 new Boise residents that don’t remember a time before the 8th & Main Tower and the other projects we mentioned above. They must think the photos we’re about to show you are really, really old. 

In reality? They’re only 10-ish years old. We wanted to do a 10 year challenge for Downtown Boise, but the Google Maps car didn’t visit in 2014 so we used pictures from its 2015 visit. The change is DRAMATIC. Take a look!

10 Year Challenge: See How Different Downtown Boise Looked Before It’s “Room Boom”

Can you believe there are at least 22,000 new Boise residents that don’t remember a time before the 8th & Main Tower?

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

KEEP READING: 30 Google Maps Images That Show Just How Much Meridian Has Changed

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

These Are 10 of the Oldest Buildings Still Standing in Boise

Sure, Boise’s full of new construction but these buildings? They’ve managed to survive for over 140 years and still stand proudly in our community today!

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart



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