Having served as home to a variety of retail stores offering women’s clothing to lampshades to its original purpose, a garage for Boise Motor Company in 1915, the historic Sherm Perry Building on the corner of 9th and Bannock Streets in downtown Boise, ID, had developed more layers than an onion. The building’s remaining guts and partitions were removed, exposing original brick walls. Oversized glass and steel garage doors replaced much smaller existing windows and exterior walls. Coupled with a new outdoor bar and patio, these transparent and convertible walls contribute to a feeling of exposure and transparency, while purposely blurring the indoor and outdoor environments. The space is as much a place to see and be seen as it is to eat and drink beer.
Reuse of as many materials recovered from the building’s interior was the best way to celebrate its history. Exposed, original wood structure is now prevalent. Wood reclaimed from the demolished ceilings was utilized in new supports, window frames, walls, outdoor bar stools, and in a prominent host station. Insulation that once sat above the drop ceiling was moved to just inside the roof. Brick from the original walls was excavated and coated in a breathable sealant for preservation and structural reinforcement; and additional bricks needed for new entry pillars were closely matched to this existing masonry.
By stripping away these years of additions, views of exposed beams and mechanical systems and the original concrete flooring now exist, creating a modern-yet-nostalgic, stripped down space more in line with its industrial roots; and creating a new and vital bookend to Boise’s thriving downtown social scene.