Veterans Administration Building 33 Historic Renovation

Boise, Idaho

The Mountain Cove Building (Building 33), on the campus of the Boise Veterans Administration Medical Center, was built in 1908 as a U.S. Army hospital. This 20,000-sf, three-story building was constructed with a wood framed structure, brick and sandstone exterior walls, and slate roof. Over time, the building saw a variety of occupants, leading to numerous renovations and severe deterioration. Restoration of the building included restoring historic elements and converting the building to an office building with modern facilities.

The first step to bring the building back to habitability was to survey the interior condition of the building to determine the material conditions, space dimensions, accessibility, and structural conditions.  The second step consisted of hiring a hazardous materials inspector to determine the extent of abatement and remediation work. Finally, an extensive survey of the building exterior (including walls, roof, windows, chimneys, and site) was completed to determine the extent of exterior restoration.

Due to the decrepit conditions and lack of modern accessibility features, we proposed rehabilitating the historic features of the building, adding an addition for accessible travel and egress, and updating the interior to modern standards while maintaining the most prominent historic elements, such as the grand staircase, woodwork, and exterior materials. The design team worked closely with the state historical preservation officer to create a restoration plan that complied with code while following the Department of Interior Standards for Restoration and Guidelines for Restoring Historic Buildings.

Idaho Historic Preservation Council—Orchid Award—Excellence in Historic Preservation

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