Creators, Makers, and Doers: Byron Folwell
Posted on 10/7/15 by Arts & History
Historic South Boise Streetcar Plaza is an enduring symbol of Boise’s streetcar history. The station was originally located on Broadway Avenue near Richmon Street between 1906 and 1928 as part of the South Boise streetcar line. Twenty-five such structures were built between 1906 and 1925. Ivywild Station is one of the few structures associated with the streetcar still in existence in Boise.
Electric streetcars began operating in 1988. This quick and convenient form of transportation soon caught on, including in Boise. Local business leaders developed a streetcar system—The Boise Rapid Transit Company—in 1891. Two streetcars provided regular service to connect downtown Boise and surrounding neighborhoods. In 1907 an interurban line connected Boise to the west end of the valley by rail.
Streetcar and interurban service provided transportation to thousands of people for more than 40 years. The automobile and better highways, however, doomed the electric railway system. By 1928, operators abandoned the electric rail lines and a new bus system replaced some former streetcar routes. Ivywild Station is one of only a few visible reminders of Boise’s transportation history scattered through Ada and Canyon counties.
The City of Boise moved the old station to a safe location in 2011, renovated it back to its original appearance, and moved it to this park in December 2012. It is now near its original location, where it will remain as a symbol of Boise’s transportation History. Artist and architect Byron Folwell created the site plan, ghost train car, and ghost artifacts such as a milk jug and picnic basket to suggest ways that people used the transportation system—to move goods or go on an outing.
Creators, Makers, & Doers highlights the lives and work of Boise artists and creative individuals. Selected profiles focus on individuals whose work has been supported by the Boise City Dept. of Arts & History.