Top 6 Places to Visit in Idaho if You Love Architecture

From the majestic wonder of the Boise National Forest to the alien planes of the Craters of the Moon, Idaho is chock full of incredible natural wonders. As such, every travel blog focusing on the states has covered these natural wonders extensively and left little to the imagination for locals and travelers alike. But, what about the countless manmade architecture beauties our state also proudly boasts? 

As Idaho natives, we at Sawcutting Specialties felt it was crucial that we look into these wonders as well and pay homage to the hard workers that put in the sweat, blood, and tears to make these locations possible. Without further ado, below are six of the most intricate structures in Idaho you definitely will want to visit today. 

Jump Building Idaho Architecture

1) The JUMP Building, Boise

According to the official JUMP building website, “We created JUMP as a place for everyone to discover new possibilities and explore their potential. This takes gumption, a combination of vision and courage. JUMP is an invitation to look at things in new ways, including ourselves, and to try things for the first time. JUMP is our underlying metaphor since “to jump” is to part with stability (leaving the ground beneath our feet) and experience something new. When we JUMP we expand our lives, enrich our communities, and push the human story forward.”

The building honors the industrious life of local Idaho native, J.R. Simplot. Although JUMP also uses the metaphor of taking new leaps, it also stands for Jack’s Urban Meeting Place. During Treefort, you can find an array of local tech icons participating in Hackfort. As for the rest of the year, all kinds of classes, projects, startups, and companies look to this architecture spot for a place to let their creative nature flourish.

However, for those that care more about the architecture itself, the JUMP building cost $70 Million, was completed by Adamson Associates, is comprised primarily of concrete and steel which required various joints for construction, and holds multiple vintage trackers once belonging to J.R. Simplot himself. 

University of Idaho Moscow

2) University of Idaho Campus, Moscow

When you first see the elegant and architecturally mesmerizing buildings on the University of Idaho campus in Moscow, you may simply find yourself in shock and awe. From the stunning masonry and design to the large windows and enormous clock face, the campus appears to be more fitting in the pages of a Harry Potter book than in the middle of an upstate city in Idaho. 

The university opened for classes October 3, 1892 and, since then, has continued to grow steadily adding new buildings frequently and providing more classes to Idaho natives and transplants alike. From Boise, the drive to Moscow is roughly 5 hours and 40 minutes. Fortunately, the drive is nothing short of a fairy tale winding through some of the most stunning forests in the state. 

The location of the university is rather peculiar as it was once a uranium mine. According to the UI Fast Facts page, the Moscow campus is 1,585 acres, including 253 buildings with a replacement value of $812 million. It also boasts 10 miles of parking lots and 1.22 miles of bike paths.  22 computer labs, an 18-hole golf course on 150 acres, and 80 acres of arboreta. Lastly, 860 acres of farms.

perrine bridge idaho architecture

3) Perrine Bridge, Twin Falls

According to Northwest Travel Magazine, “The Perrine Bridge is a truss arch span, with its supports imbedded deep into the canyon walls. Stretching 1,500 feet across Snake River, this structure is more than a transportation bridge. Pedestrians use the bridge’s walkways for stunning views and photo ops of the Snake River. For those daring enough to try, BASE parachute and bungee jumping are also a common recreational activity for this 486-foot tall bridge.”

On top of all of this, the Perrine bridge is the 8th largest bridge in the country. It built in 1927, rebuilt in 1976, and honors Idaho pioneer I.B. Perrine. The Perrine Bridge is approximately 1,500 feet in total length. It has a main span of 993 feet and a deck height of 486 feet above the Snake River.

Idaho Capitol Boise

4) Idaho State Capitol Building, Boise

Located in the heart of Idaho, the Idaho State Capitol Building is truly stunning architecture. A white building with gold accents, marble, and hundreds of years of Idaho history within its walls. Guests can experience the building in all of its glory by booking a tour of the entire building which discusses Idaho history, showcases some incredible Idaho artifacts, and displays the beauty of the architecture in full detail. 

To get a glimpse of this structural glory, the building was completed in 1902, the architects were John E. Tourtellotte and Charles Hummel, the structure is mostly comprised of granite, concrete, scagliola, plaster, and steel. The initial building cost the city $2 million to make. 

Since then, the city has invested an additional $300 million roughly into new wings, restoration, and expansion of the building. Now, the building boasts a full-scale replica of the liberty bell. It also yields three stories of history with different wings and purposes. Lastly, an underground wing as well off limits to the public. 

Idaho Rainbow Bridge Architecture

5) Rainbow Bridge, Smith’s Ferry

According to the United States Forest Service, “The concrete bridge spanning the North Fork of the Payette River above Smith’s Ferry was built in 1933 with emergency relief funds. It exhibits an open-spandrel design introduced to Idaho in the 1920s and used in several locations throughout the state. Unlike other bridges of this type, the Rainbow Bridge, originally called the North Fork Bridge, has not been altered over the years.

Charles A. Kyle designed the North Fork Bridge. He was Idaho’s chief bridge engineer from 1919. This was when the Idaho Bureau of Highways was established, until his death in 1936. The bridge, which cost $74,000, was built by C.F. Dinsmore & Company, an Ogden construction firm with previous experience building bridges in Boise.”

This structure resides in some of the most incredible natural wonders in the state. Despite this, it fits perfectly. The architecture and elegance of the bridge makes it the perfect spot for hiking, photography, and everything in between. 

St. John's Cathedral Boise

6) St. John’s Cathedral, Boise

Whether you are religious or not, this architectural wonder is definitely worth the visit. St. John’s Cathedral was built over a period of time ranging from 1906 to 1921. The cathedral is a building displaying some of the past architectural artistry of Europe in a nutshell.

The cathedral is by the same architects behind the Idaho Capitol building. It has the same dome interior and intricate marble and gold architecture accents throughout. Luxurious stained glass fills various windows and the whole building is cruciform in shape. On top of this, a 3-manual, 2900-pipe organ installed by Tellers-Kent in 1921. It still resides there to this day to help with sermons and their weekly dinner masses open to the public. 

This is merely us dropping into the proverbial bucket of architecture wonders found in our glorious state. Yet, it emphasizes just how much time, effort, and labor have gone into every single building in Idaho. 

Behind every one of these buildings and structures was a team of experienced workers. All of them with reliable tools and equipment to make it happen. As such, if you are looking for the kind of durable equipment to make your own architectural wonders, don’t hesitate to contact us today at Sawcutting Specialties! We will help you shape and form your next masterpiece in no time! 

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