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Boise 1890

Boise Panoramic 1890

This page last changed: 21 July 2006

Panoramic maps - also called "bird's-eye views"- were very popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as a means of depicting and promoting American cities.  Traveling artists and draftsmen visited towns and cities across the country and sold lithographs on a subscription basis.  Born in Germany, Augustus Koch made panoramic maps of more than 100 American cities.  He created this one of Boise in 1890, the year Idaho achieved statehood.  The view is from the foothills, looking south toward the Boise River.  Noticeably absent is the present Idaho State Capitol, not yet built. (Seventh Street, now Capitol Boulevard, runs right through the site.)  The city came no closer to the river than Front Street, aptly named. A second (south) channel of the Boise River created an island where Boise State University's Towers dorm and the Morrison Center are today.  Julia Davis Park, along the north bank of the river opposite the university, was then an orchard.  And of all the buildings depicted on the bottom of the map, only the Assay Office (Second and Main Streets) is still standing.  This map, which has seen much wear and tear over its long life, was donated to Albertsons Library in 2006 by the bequest of our friend and colleague Carole J. Clemens, a long-time library employee.  It is located in the Special Collections Department.

Boise 1890

See also our web exhibit, The Boise River on 19th Century Maps

Special Collections • 1910 University Drive • Boise, ID 83725-1430 • Phone: 208-426-1204 • Email: Archives