Special Session – Tuesday Sept. 15th – 7:00pm

At the request of the Franklin House, NENA is convening a special session meeting to continue discussion of CUP20-00028, a Special Exception application to operate a bar in a R3 residential zone.

Please note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. Franklin House proprietors will have 10 minutes to present, and NENA Board members will have 10 minutes to ask questions, if needed. Other North End Neighborhood Association members* will be limited to 3 minutes of testimony each. Meeting will conclude no later than 8pm.

*To be considered a NENA member, you must live, work, or own a property/business within North End Neighborhood boundaries.

UPDATE: The Zoom meeting lasted about 2 hours. Over 40 neighbors participated, including board members. Both sides of the question were voiced, from several different angles. No official tally was taken because NENA does not make the ultimate decision. The board voted to send a supplemental letter to Planning & Zoning explaining the special session, without making any change to their prior support of the current R-3 residential use zoning where Franklin House is located.

July/August Preservation and Progress Recap

We had 20+ members present, on Zoom, in July and 30+ members in August to discuss many different preservation and progress issues:

The Booth Home property has changed hands.  Redevelopment efforts had stalled and upkeep was flagging.  NENA has been following the situation and hearing good things from the new owners.  Upkeep and progress are restarting, the plans previously negotiated with NENA and neighbors remain in place.  NENA will continue to follow.

TRICA (children’s art program) requested and received a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow a specific number of church and other larger gatherings annually.  They are seeking to complete construction and occupy the old church they’ve been rebuilding for many years, raising roughly $7 million, at 14th and Eastman.  A group of neighbors have opposed, bringing concerns about noise and parking, in an appeal of the initial CUP approval.  Initially supportive, NENA has shifted to neutral on the question after some long conversations with TRICA and neighbors. 

Franklin House B&B has been operating a backyard beer garden without proper permits.  Customers approve.  A number of their neighbors oppose.  Planning and Zoning will decide.  NENA has expressed support for existing zoning codes.  A special meeting is scheduled with Franklin House owners and neighbors, in advance of the P&Z hearing.

Several instances of “illegal demolition” of contributing historical homes have been noticed.  NENA is following these situations closely, advocating strongly and engage legal support for meaningful enforcement of existing rules for historic preservation of contributing structures.

Public hearings continue on a proposed tower just outside of NENA’s borders.  NENA and other neighboring groups are suggesting the new building would significantly, permanently and negatively impact the character of the surrounding area, and perhaps other neighborhoods in Boise.  The proposed tower could be the third tallest in state.  

A property for sale in the northwest corner of the North End has been home to a business that has stretched the limits of their zoning.  Neighbors are seeking a new use that would better suit the residential character of their block.  NENA has been advising and supporting those neighbors.

There has been no new communication, for many months now, with the Cathedral of the Rockies about the future of Block 75, the community garden space across the street from the Church.  This is at least in part due to COVID.  Some neighbors have come forward and will join with some NENA board members to restart a working sub-committee to see what can be done to restart the Block 75 conversation.

By Michael Herman.  This recap of recent NENA work is intended for general informational purposes only.  It does not establish or officially represent any board position, on any of these matters.  Please report any errors to webmaster@northendboise.org.  Thanks!

The Street Fair is CANCELLED – The Posters, Shirts and Music are NOT!

Remember the Fair that wasn’t there!  Any mask will look better with a 2020 HPSF t-shirt. Details for purchasing shirts and posters coming soon. Proceeds from t-shirts, posters and a virtual concert tip jar will help NENA continue to support neighborhood programs.

Check out the newly released video of the SMF-Steve Fulton Music headlining performance from our 40th Anniversary last year. Click here for Steve Fulton Music Virtual Concert

Please add to our Virtual Tip Jar to support NENA’s neighborhood programs.


Hyde Park Street Fair has been an annual tradition since it was born in 1979 on the streets of Hyde Park, under the shade of century-old trees in Boise’s Historic North End. Last summer, the Fair celebrated 40 years of fun, food, unique vendors, and incredible performances by some of Boise’s most talented artists and performers.

100% of proceeds from the Fair fund the non-profit North End Neighborhood Association (NENA), in support of neighborhood programs, which this year have expanded to include nearly $20,000 in donations toward COVID-19 related relief programs in Boise. 95% of NENA’s budget comes from the Fair, and without it, your support is needed more than ever.

Please consider making a donation of any size (maybe the price of a beer or three you’d usually buy while enjoying a performance on the main stage?). NENA thanks you, and we will see you in 2021!

Click Here to Donate – Thank You!!

Join Us in Celebrating 100 Years of Elm Grove Park!

What does Elm Grove Park mean to you? Share your story & win!

Whether you grew up playing in the park 70 years ago or you practiced Tai Chi there yesterday, we want to hear how Elm Grove Park has been a part of your North End experience. Submit your story using this form. All contributors will be entered to win an original print by artist Wendy Blickenstaff. Thank you! 

What’s your Elm Grove Park story?

NOTE: By submitting your story here, you give NENA your permission to use your story online and in printed materials. Thank you!


Elm Grove Park History

Developed by WE Pierce & Co. in 1915, the shady tract of land on Irene Street, between 22nd and 24th Streets, was bisected by an irrigation flume running open through the park. The water was eventually covered by a paved path now used for walking, cycling, skateboarding, and crossing the neighborhood. The park also includes a playground, swings, picnic tables, tennis courts, basketball hoops, and a baseball backstop.

The Elm Grove Park neighborhood has evolved over time from ranch land to a suburban neighborhood, with many notable Boiseans involved in its growth.  

In 1876, George D. Ellis – a pioneer freighter, rancher, and banker – bought 300 acres outside the boundary of Boise and established a farm called “Centennial Ranch.” George and his wife, Telitha, lived on the large ranch where they boarded horses and grew hay and oats.

By the turn of the 20th century, the city of Boise was growing away from the downtown core and expanding north and west. Ellis sold 155 acres of his prime ranch land in 1906 to WE Pierce & Co. for $125,000.

The area was transitioning from a farm to a type of neighborhood known as “streetcar suburbs” built near new trolley lines. Sidewalks, easy access to the trolley, and lines of mature trees made this part of Boise desirable to home buyers. 

One of the other amenities in the neighborhood was the new Elm Grove Park. WE Pierce & Co. installed toilets, swings, benches, and a fence. On July 5, 1915,  the Women’s Relief Corps of the G.A.R formally opened the park with a celebratory picnic.

It would be another five years before the park was sold to the city, in 1920. The shady piece of land quickly became a gathering spot for children, social clubs, and neighborhood residents. A century later, it remains a neighborhood treasure.

By Barbara Perry Bauer, TAG Historical Research