By: Patricia Minkiewicz
It does not take long for newcomers to notice the respect the city of Eagle has for its history. A walk along the State Street village downtown area features many old preserved buildings that successfully remain occupied now by restaurants, shops, and offices. Heritage Park is central to a proud past and has become the city’s outdoor gathering venue. Just west of the Park is a large, painted mural depicting the rural and equestrian tradition that is preserved in the northern Beacon Light Road area.
On the corner of First & State Streets is a large bronze statue of Thomas Aikens (1845-1925), a Founding Father who is pointing to the 1910 Hotel he constructed. His daughter Clara suggested the name Eagle for the city. Several artistic visages of the Eagle are throughout the town and serve to remind citizens of the large and strong birds that once were numerous along the Boise River.
Visitors can view pictures and photos of local historical properties at the city’s unique Eagle Historical Museum, located adjacent to Wild West Bakery & Expresso café on State Street. Even better, pick up the Museum’s Historic Eagle Walking Tour brochure & map. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Essential to preserving the past is ongoing citizen involvement. The city’s Historic Preservation Commission of volunteers fills that need:
The mission of the Eagle Historic Preservation Commission is to safeguard the City’s historic structures and features; to foster civic pride in the past; to promote the use of historic districts and landmarks for the education, pleasure, and welfare of the people of the City; and to encourage preservation of historic integrity in land use and development planning.
Chairman Zachary Pence added, “Eagle has a distinct feel that differentiates it from other cities in the Boise area and beyond. Through preservation and a knowledge of history, we can learn from the past and help to ensure Eagle remains a vibrant and beautiful place for all of us who are fortunate enough to call Eagle our home.”
Recognition in the city’s Historical Register is honorary, not restrictive. Hence, if the Registered 1931 Tudor style Jackson House now for sale in the heart of downtown is sold and the new owner chooses demolition or major architectural remodeling, the city of Eagle cannot prevent that choice.
Note: Still to come is the Commission’s Eagle Historic District Open House at City Hall scheduled for Wednesday, September 13 starting at 6:00 PM.