300 South Capitol Boulevard Block Time Line

  • 1863-1900  Thomas Davis Orchards
  • 1885  Oregon Short Line Right-of-Way established
  • 1893  Oregon Short Line Depot built at 10th and Front
  • 1903  Oregon Short Line rail line constructed east towards Barber Valley
  • 1906  Davis Addition platted Block 12 180-feet by 300-feet 100-foot rail right-of-way
  • 1907-12  Single family homes built on east side of block
  • 1912  Boise Shoeing Shop and Broadway Feed Lot on west side of block.  Warehouse built along Front Street, later Lewis Fuel & Feed Co.
  • 1914  Proposal for 180-foot boulevard for 7th Street–now Capitol Boulevard
  • 1936  Bunting Tractor Co. showroom and shop built at 318 S. Capitol with rail spur
  • 1952  Bunting Tractor Co moves to Federal Way
  • 1953  Westinghouse Electric Supply Co. and Westinghouse Corporation
  • 1972  Bunting Tractor Company Building listed to the National Register of Historic Places
  • 1981  St. Vincent De Paul Center, Three M Energy Control Center, Western Bldg. Maintenance
  • 1988  Vacant
  • 1992  Bunting Tractor Company Building demolished for parking lot
  • 1993-2012  surface parking lot
  • 2013  Hawkins Co. re-development — Trader Joes and other restaurants

1890 Boise Lithograph

Apple Orchards

From the late 1860s to the turn-of-the-century the site was an orchard, primarily Red June apples, planted by Tom Davis who homesteaded the area from the Boise River to Front Street. Today a portion of that land is Julia Davis Park.

1885 Boise City map

1885 Boise City map inset

Oregon Short Line Depot

Oregon Short Line logo

Oregon Short Line Railroad

By 1885 the OSL established a 100-foot right-of-way along the south side of Front Street. In 1893, the Oregon Short Line laid railroad tracks parallel to Front Street and a new depot was constructed at 10th and Front streets. The substantial sandstone depot was decorated with bracketed eaves, swooping dormers and a prominent Prussian helmet tower. Unfortunately, the depot was demolished in 1947. By 1903 a single railroad track extended east to the Barber Valley. A second parallel track was installed to support growing rail service. Numerous sidings supported the warehouse district as well as one to bring rail cars to the Bunting Tractor Co. and the John Deere Plow Co. Rail service was extended in 1911 to help build Arrowrock Dam, which was completed in 1914. The rail was again extended from Arrowrock Junction to Centerville to serve logging. Logging and passenger volume fell significantly in 1916, and with the closure of the Barber Mill in 1934; the roadbed was replaced in 1936 with the current Highway 21. In the late 1980s the Barber Spur switchyard was removed and area spurs discontinued, replaced with the Broadway-Chinden highway couplet opened in 1992.

Plat of Davis Addition

Oregon Short Line rail spur map

Davis Addition

Block 12 was platted the Davis Addition on February 26, 1906, containing twelve 30-foot by 142-foot lots, served by a 16-foot alley off of Broadway Street. By 1912 three houses and outbuildings were located on the east side of the block.

Snow Blacksmith

1912 Sanborn map

Farmer’s Feed Corral and Broadway Shoeing Shop

The earliest business on the block offered services to Boise’s equestrian transportation. Farmer’s Feed Corral located at 310 S. 7th (later Capitol) was operated by J. W. Andregg into the late 1920s. A feed corral was an important branch of the hotel business. Horse shoeing, wagon repair, and a blacksmith were available at the Broadway Shoeing Shop located at 320 S. 7th. Operating from 1914 to the late 1930s the corner lot included a small corral. Owners over the years included J. M. Martin, P.G. Snyder, Guy Grooms, and P.H. Snow.

ca 1960s photograph with Block 12 brick office in foreground

1949 Sanborn Maps

Lewis Fuel & Feed Co.

By 1912 a narrow group of warehouses were constructed facing Front Street with rail access on the south side. A brick building with an adjacent scale was on the corner of South 7th and Front Street. Along Front and the rail line were metal-sided sheds containing coal, hay, grain, and seed. The business moved to South 13th Street in the early 1950s. In the 1950s the warehouses were used to store tractor parts and later tires. The warehouses were demolished in the 1980s to make way for the Broadway-Chinden highway connector, which opened in 1992.

Idaho Statesman, January 1, 1914. Plan to Beautify Boise

Street Names Changed and Grand Boulevard Plans

Broadway Street was changed to Broad Street in 1913 when the city annexed South Boise, which had an existing Broadway Street.  South 7th Street was changed to Capitol Boulevard in the early 1930s when the Capitol Boulevard Bridge was completed connecting the Boise Depot to the statehouse.  In 1914 Boise architects proposed that Capitol Boulevard be widened to 180 feet to create a grand city beautiful boulevards with a central median.

Bunting Aero Combine advertisement

Caterpillar Sixty working on the Milner Dam, Murtaugh, Idaho

Caterpillar match cover

1945 and 1953 Bunting Tractor Co. Boise City Polk’s Directory advertisements

Bunting Tractor Company

The most significant building on the block was the Bunting Tractor Company built in the art deco style at 318 South Capitol Boulevard in 1936. Coming out of the depression Clyde E. Bunting and his father Norman E. Bunting determined that Boise was the place for an implement dealership. They purchased Block 12 and retained the renowned Idaho architectural firm of Tourtellote and Hummel (designer of the Idaho capitol) to design a state of the arts building. Norman was an engineer who received a number of patents in the early 1930s for the Bunting Aero Combine, a threshing machine. Clyde was a pioneer in the sales of tractors and heavy equipment in Idaho and the company grew to include 11 sales outlets throughout southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. The family business sold and repaired labor saving machines that made America’s agriculture more efficient. They became the dealership for Caterpillar Tractor Co. and other brands. A rail spur served the block allowing a car load of tractors to be unloaded directly to the Bunting Building. Also located on the spur was a coal shed and along South 6th Street a wood and coal shed. The spur also served the John Deere Plowing Co. at 601 Broad Street. Built in 1940s, the Deere Building remains today. (Images: 15-Bunting Aero Combine advertisement, 16-Caterpillar Sixty working on the Milner Dam, Murtaugh, Idaho, 17-Caterpillar Match Cover)

In the early 1950s the Bunting Tractor Co, moved to Highway 30 (4503 Federal Way).   The Bunting Tractor Co was dissolved in the early 1980s, but the large warehouse remains as the Bunting Building Corporation, headed by daughter Sally Nihipali, President.  The Bunting Building at 318 S. Capitol Boulevard was leased to others from the mid-fifties until late 1980s when it stood vacant.  The property was sold to George and Julie Barber and the building was demolished in the early 1990s for parking. 

Bunting Tractor Company building façade drawing - credit Hummel Architects

Bunting Tractor Company building façade - credit J. Bertram

Bunting Tractor Company building pier cap drawing - credit Hummel Architects

Bunting Tractor Company building pilaster - credit J. Bertram

Bunting Tractor Company building demolition - credit J. Bertram

Bunting Tractor Building Art Deco Architecture

Architects Tourtellotte and Hummel designed the Bunting Tractor Company showroom and shop with partner Frank Hummel (architect of the iconic Hotel Boise in 1930) taking the lead. The post depression art deco style building was exceptional for the stylistic leap to a horizontal urban art deco style. The one-story 128-by-132-foot concrete structure presented a long, low profile to Capitol Boulevard. The building possessed great attention to detail with a streamlined cornice, triple lines running up the pilasters, lateral scoring, concrete surfaces jointed to resemble stone blocks, and storefront window bases with veneered black ceramic tile. The building was set back ten-feet from the Capitol Boulevard property line to respect the views of the boulevard as established in the City of Boise’s 1932 Zoning Laws, Ordinance No. 1589. Hummel Architects made available a façade drawing of the building and a pencil detail of the stylized foliated sunburst design located on each pilaster building's façade. The Bunting Tractor Company Building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Morris Hill Cemetery Bunting Bench

Clyde E. Bunting

Clyde E. Bunting (1900-1978) was born in Berryville, Illinois and moved to La Grande, Oregon with his parents in 1902. He married Margaret “Peggy” Bunting in 1945. Peggy served in the Idaho House of Representatives from 1973 though 1983. They lived in Boise at 825 and later at 945 Warm Springs Avenue in Boise.

ca 1977 Block 12 aerial photograph




318 S. Capitol Building Tenants

In the early 1950s until the late 1970s the building was leased to the Westinghouse Electric Supply Co., which provided wholesale electric appliances and supplies. In 1981 the building was leased to the St. Vincent De Paul Center and other small business. By 1988 the building was vacant and in 1992 the building was demolished for parking. The northern part of block 12 was reshaped to accommodate the extension of Front Street to Broadway Avenue as part of the Broadway-Chinden couplet.

Hawkins Co. re-development — Trader Joes and supporting retail

Please visit our Progress page for information on what's happening or our About page for information on our new tenants.

Historical information prepared by: Planmakers, 417 S. 13th Street, Boise, Idaho 83702