The Prestigious and Scandalous History of Boise’s Idanha Hotel
Two of the best eateries in Boise are located in a gorgeous building downtown that has no business being as cool as it is. Bombay Grill serves up incredibly delicious Indian food that never disappoints whether you go for the buffet lunch service or the full dinner menu. Guru Donuts is just steps away slanging unique sweet creations. And I didn't even mention 10th Street Station Bar downstairs. But I wondered what was going on in the rest of the building.
As it turns out, the rest of the building is apartments. Currently all the floorplans are rented, with the most square footage topping out at 786 square feet. Not very big. But that's probably because the building was converted from hotel status to apartments, so they were working with existing rooms. The 2 bedroom apartments were probably the suites. So what was going on back when this place was a hotel?
What didn't go on might be the better question. It opened back on New Year's Day back in 1901 and quickly became the social destination for Boise's elite and elite passing through Boise. President Theodore Roosevelt and President William Howard Taft were guests of the elegant, sophisticated hotel as well as other prominent politicians. But it wasn't all classy parties and banquets.
The first assassination attempt against Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg at this very hotel. Then when he was actually murdered, Lawyer Clarence Darrow and others involved in the whole situation stayed there. That's some scandal right there.
But that was over a hundred years ago. By the 1970's the building was renovated into apartments and the glamour and status from back in the day has faded. It's still a really cool building and was actually the tallest building in Boise back when it was constructed and claims the title as first building in Boise with an elevator. It's cool that it's still part of Boise culture even if in a different capacity than originally intended.