TWIN FALLS • A Times-News reporting project on historic Magic Valley barns, a Kimberly school gymnasium, an architecturally significant Bliss home and a relic of the Minidoka Japanese internment camp won state awards from Preservation Idaho.
The Boise-based nonprofit, dedicated to the protection of Idaho heritage, will honor 10 “Orchid” winners at its 39th Annual Orchids & Onions Awards Ceremony and luncheon at 11:30 a.m. May 21 at the historic Ada County Courthouse on Jefferson Street in downtown Boise. Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for others. Beforehand, the organization will lead a walking tour of the historical neighborhood at 10:30 a.m.; tickets are an additional $5.
The Orchids celebrate contributions to historic preservation in Idaho. The Onions point out projects “that have shown insensitivity to the state’s cultural history,” Preservation Idaho said. It will give out one Onion this year, to the Jefferson County Courthouse — “for the unfortunate demolition of an important historic structure in Rigby.”
Four Orchid winners are from south-central Idaho:
Cultural Heritage Preservation: For “Those Big Old Barns,” a special reporting project published in the Times-News on Nov. 15 and Nov. 22, reporter Mychel Matthews researched the history and condition of more than a dozen old dairy and livestock barns — many threatened by weather and neglect.
The project’s first installment featured a Twin Falls man’s effort to preserve a significant 1914 Buhl barn. The second part of Matthews’ project was presented as an easy driving tour of 13 barns from Buhl to Murtaugh, in varying states of repair or disrepair. Some are on the National Register of Historic Places; others have been altered beyond recognition. Some are still in use; others have been repurposed.
The digital package at Magicvalley.com, created by Enterprise Editor Virginia Hutchins, deepened the experience for readers with interactive features. Photographers for the project were Stephen Reiss and Drew Nash.
Contribution to Historic Preservation: Scott Roberts of CTA Group and Luke Schroeder, superintendent of the Kimberly School District, will be honored for renovation of the 1940s L.A. Thomas Gymnasium. A $1.5 million renovation started in 2014 — 70 years after Kimberly residents finished building the large concrete gymnasium.
“We have modernized it, but we’re leaving the integrity of the building,” Schroeder said at the time. It’s still the district’s most utilized multipurpose space, with a stage, basketball court and bleachers.
Cultural Heritage Preservation: Stan Cole at Cole Architects, Boise State University’s construction management department and the Friends of Minidoka will be honored for reconstruction of the guard tower at the former internment camp where the U.S. government moved some 13,000 Americans of Japanese descent from their homes on the West Coast during World War II.
Seven miles north of Eden, the Minidoka National Historic Site is scattered with remnants of the camp’s buildings.
Heritage Stewardship: Henry Whiting will be honored for careful caretaking of Idaho’s only Frank Lloyd Wright building. Known as Teater’s Knoll, the artist studio and home is above the Snake River between Hagerman and Bliss; designed in 1952, it was built for western artist Archie Boyd Teater and his wife, Patricia.
Whiting, who lives and works there now, restored and updated the studio and wrote a book chronicling its design and history.
For tickets to the award ceremony, contact Preservation Idaho at 208-424-5111 or email@example.com.