There is a stretch on Warm Springs Avenue in Boise that is lined with large, historic homes. Most of them were built in the 1920s and 1930s with a few on the outside of that. They were designed by some of Boise’s oldest architecture firms such as Wayland and Fennel and built for doctors, lawyers, and business owners. A notable item about the area around Warm Springs Ave., is the ability to use geothermal heating from the local hot springs (giving the street its name). The attention to detail, the wide sidewalks and landscaped yards make it a wonderful place to take a walk.
If you have the chance to tour anything behind the scenes, do it. I've now been through the Oregon Capitol and the Idaho Capitol and there is more than what you see at your first visit.
Both capital buildings were in need of seismic, fire suppression, HVAC and lighting upgrades. Idaho found a way to complete their restoration and additions while Oregon still struggles and is fixing things as they fail. These renovations are expensive, but they are so worth it, for the safety and preservation of buildings as well as for the people who work and visit the buildings. The pictures below are from Boise's building. The original began in 1904 and the renovation began in 2000. The images include a window and signed bricks from the 4th floor, the dome ceiling from the inside and out (Senate and House Wings) decorative columns inside and out and a new stairwell. Hundreds of state employees were relocated for the 9 year project. 26,000 square feet were added to the Garden level along with new ADA access.
Architects think a lot about space and place. They are critical of their own work. They strive to make something better - which can make meeting deadlines complicated. An architect's work is never done, but construction documents have to be sometimes and it is a constant struggle to submit a piece of work that isn't quite perfect - yet. But then again, we are all works in progress. The dream house, the perfect office, is only perfect in your mind. As soon as you live in the space and it is yours, you too will find ways to continually improve it and continue dreaming of your next project.