CoUrbanize project page closing 7/31. Thanks for participating!

Thank you for engaging with us through the CoUrbanize platform and adding your voice to Boise’s Library Campus project plan. In an effort to provide one central location for project updates and information, we are wrapping up the use of this platform for the Library Campus project. This is the last you’ll hear from us here on our CoUrbanize page. Comments will close on July 31st, 2019, but the page will remain up for record-keeping purposes. 

We encourage you to subscribe to the Boise Public Library newsletter to stay up to date on the Library Campus project. You can also follow the project on the Library Campus page at

If you would like to provide feedback on the project, please use this form

Thank you for your participation and continued interest in Boise’s Library Campus project. 

Public Hearing on Signature Initiatives - June 25 at 6 p.m.

A citizen-led initiative recently gathered sufficient signatures to place an ordinance on the November ballot asking citizens if a vote should be required on any library project costing more than $25 million. If successful, this "vote on whether to vote" would require a subsequent ballot measure on the actual Library Campus project.

The City Council is considering whether to let the “vote to vote” proceed or to pass the initiative ordinance so that the Library Campus project can be placed on the ballot in November, bypassing the need for two elections.

A public hearing on the initiatives will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25 in the City Council Chambers at Boise City Hall, 150 N. Capitol Blvd. Following the public hearing, the council will consider how to proceed. 

Log Cabin Public Hearing Vote + Next Steps

Thank you to everyone who submitted written testimony or offered in person testimony on the status of the Log Cabin as part of the Library Campus project during Boise City Council’s regular evening meeting held on Tuesday, February 26, 2019.

The hearing and discussion included a presentation from city staff about ongoing planning, negotiations and options for relocating the Log Cabin, stakeholder hearings by Preservation Idaho and the Log Cabin tenants, The Cabin, A Center for Readers & Writers, as well as General Public hearings.

A total of 169 testimonies were received, roughly 125 in writing and 49 in person. An estimated 150 participants attended the special hearing.

At the end of a four-hour meeting, the council came to an unanimous vote to move the Log Cabin to the east end of Julia Davis Park (see below; Option 4 in staff presentation).

This site would allow the nonprofit to have a quiet area of the park to operate its summer camps, ensure parking and proper access to the structure, and likely retain its place on the National Register of Historic Places.

A drawback to the site is that it would put The Cabin on the edge of a floodplain, however city staff believes building a small wall in the area would prevent flooding and any damage to the structure.

In the next coming months, city staff will be working on answering these questions and fleshing out details for the new site.

Considering the vote, city staff and the project team will continue with schematic design. A second series of Open Houses is anticipated to be held in the fall or early winter 2019.

In the meantime, please check out the FAQS section. We welcome and encourage you to continue to seek answers and clarification as needed.

Thank you for your continued interest in the Library Campus project.

Public Hearing on Cabin Options Scheduled for Tuesday, February 26

The Boise City Council will hold a special public hearing on the status of the Log Cabin Tuesday, February 26. The hearing offers Boise residents the opportunity to hear and testify to council members about options for potentially moving the Log Cabin as part of City of Boise’s Library Campus project.

Originally scheduled for noon, next week’s council meeting will be moved to 6 p.m. to accommodate broader participation from residents in the hearing. The meeting will be held in the Maryanne Jordan City Council Chambers at Boise City Hall.

The hearing and discussion will include a presentation from city staff about ongoing planning, negotiations and options for relocating the Log Cabin, a city-owned building which is home to the literary arts non-profit organization known as The Cabin. As with all public hearings before the council, those who wish to speak will be given three minutes for their testimony. Sign up sheets for testifying will be available just outside of the council chambers before the meeting and speakers will be called upon in the order in which they signed up.

Those unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting can also send written testimony to by close of business on Monday, February 25. Read More

Library Campus Update: Log Cabin, Boise Working Together, FAQS

Thanks to everyone for continuing to share your thoughts, ideas, concerns, and support for the Library Campus project. A lot has happened since our last update and we want to provide you with accurate project information and answer your questions.

Log Cabin Location

On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, Boise City Council reviewed and discussed Log Cabin location options that weighed the following community concerns:

  • Historic preservation
  • Programmatic needs of the Cabin non-profit organization
  • Increased connectivity with the greenbelt and river corridor—a project goal driven by community input received during Spring ‘17 Design Thinking Workshops.

Options included keeping the Cabin onsite or moving it to one of two locations in or directly adjacent to Julia Davis Park. The city council reviewed 322 comments received November 16-26 and heard testimony from Kurt Zwolfer, Executive Director of the Cabin and Frank Eld, Preservation Idaho board member. After careful consideration, the council voted 4:2 to move the Log Cabin to a new location but requested that the project team consider additional sites.

Council was expected to reconvene January 8, but the project-stakeholder team requested additional time to identify and analyze suitable alternative locations.

Schematic Design

On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, Boise City Council approved an $11 million contract for the schematic design phase of this project. Of this amount, more than $5.5 million will go to Boise-based architects and engineers. Safdie Architects will receive approximately $3.4 million. The balance of the contract will go to specialist consultants (environmental, health impact, etc.) and standard project allowances and expenses.

During the schematic design phase (December – April 2019*), the project team will:

  • Advance the design based on public input received on the conceptual designs and building program
  • Weigh design and engineering considerations to bring the project to budget ($80-85 million)
  • Finalize health impact assessment studies
  • Develop a sustainability strategy. This will include—but is not limited to—decisions on building materials and environmental impact and will address concerns about bird strikes and energy costs heard during the public input period in July 2018)

A second round of public input will follow the schematic design phase this spring. See timeline for a full project schedule.  

Vote Initiative

On Friday, December 21, 2018,  a local group called Boise Working Together proposed initiatives for calling for a pair of public votes: one on a mostly privately funded sports park and another on the Library Campus. The city attorney has reviewed the proposed initiatives and issued certificates of review that raise concerns about their constitutionality. At this time, it is unclear whether this group will move forward with the effort to solicit an advisory vote on the project.

Project Updates

We look forward to providing regular updates as we move through the schematic design process. In the meantime, the FAQS section has been updated. We welcome and encourage you to continue to seek answers and clarification as needed.

Thank you for your continued interest in the Library Campus project.

Public Lecture: Submit Your Questions!

Tickets to the free September 21 public lecture presented by Moshe Safdie, architect of the new Boise Library Campus, “Cultural Institutions as Community Catalysts,” went quickly and are no longer available! If you were unable to reserve yours, the presentation will be streamed live at, and broadcast on the Jumbotron outside of JUMP.

Safdie’s talk will explore his humanistic philosophy of architecture and urbanism focusing on the design of the public realm and the impact his civic projects have had on communities around the world. Following, Pulitzer Prize-winning Boise author, Anthony Doerr will lead a question and answer session with Mr. Safdie.

What would you like to know about Mr. Safdie’s celebrated career? Tell us in the comments below!

Library Campus Update: Public Input + Next Steps

Thanks again to everyone that shared their thoughts, ideas, concerns and support for the new Main Library, Center for Arts & History and shared event space.

350 individuals attended the open houses (Jul. 16-20, 2018) and a combined 469 individuals commented on the project through comment cards, the Library website and coUrbanize. A significant percentage of participants is excited about the initial design concept for the Library Campus, but three significant themes emerged from the comments gathered:

  • Consideration for the historic cabin structure
  • Parking
  • Cost

The Cabin

  • The City of Boise is and will remain a committed supporter of the historic cabin structure and its tenants, The Cabin: A Center for Readers & Writers. We are also committed to building a 21st century main library that represents the values and goals gleaned from several years of feasibility studies, visioning workshops and conversations with a wide cross-section of the community. Discussions with the Cabin’s director and board about a potential new location in Julia Davis Park that offers the best possible outcome for The Cabin’s future are ongoing. Given public feedback in the open houses, we are also exploring further the possibility of incorporating the Cabin into the library campus.


  • Creating adequate and accessible parking for this project is a key priority, with a goal of 300 spots. Approximately 40 spots will remain onsite, while 250 are planned in an offsite parking structure. This structure may be built on the property located at 618 S. 8th Street, owned by Tim Wilcomb and currently the home of the Foothills School of Arts and Sciences. The Wilcombs have been in discussions with the school board for some time about the possibility of redeveloping the property should an opportunity present itself; as a result, the Foothills School of Arts and Sciences has been looking for a permanent home for many years. With this partnership, the City would purchase parking as a condominium and operate it as a public garage. Parking fees are still being worked on, but we are making every effort to offer the first or two hours free, with possible parking validation. 


  • The project team continues to work on ways to reduce the estimated overall cost of the campus project, with a budget goal of $80-85 million – $18 million from philanthropy, $15 million from Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC), $15 million from City of Boise, $32-37 long-term lease financing. The City of Boise will be using existing resources to support the lease financing. Boise resident taxes will not go up as a result of this project.

To view the open house comments and summary report, visit the links in the footer of this page (under Info & Plans) to locate the document titled, Library Campus Public Input.

Next steps will include a public lecture featuring Lead Architect Moshe Safdie on September 21, 2018 (details forthcoming) and a second opportunity for public input in early fall. As always, you are welcome to continue to submit comments through this site throughout the duration of the project. Keep following the conversation!

Our Sincere Thanks + Next Steps

Our sincere thanks to everyone who came out to the first Open House Series and used this site to share their questions, comments, concerns and support for this project!

Comments received on or before Monday, July 23, 2018 at midnight (MST) have been gathered and forwarded to City leadership for review.

You are welcome to continue to submit comments through this site throughout the duration of the project.

We look forward to coming back to you during our second Open House Series in September. Updates will be posted on this blog as the project matures -- keep following the conversation!

A Huge Thank You - Plus Questions & Answers

Special thanks to everyone who has come out to share their questions, comments, concerns and support for this project!

Below are the questions we are hearing most often from the community. Many of them will be addressed with additional detail during our second Open House Series in September. Updates will be posted on this blog as the project matures -- keep following the conversation!


If parking is such an important aspect of this project, why isn't a parking solution included in the designs?

The City of Boise is currently in negotiations with an adjacent property on a parking garage solution that would accommodate approximately 250 spaces. 40-50 on-site parking spots will be located in the lot to the west of the Anne Frank Memorial.

Will we have to pay to park in the garage?

We will make every effort to offer at least two hours of parking free.

How much will this cost?

The project budget is $80-85M and be financed as follows:

  • Philanthropy: $18M
  • CCDC: $15M
  • City of Boise : $15M
  • Lease Financing: $32-37M

The Cabin is not shown in any of the renderings. Why not?

The initial design concept indicates that the Cabin may move. The City of Boise remains committed to working with the Cabin to ensure the organization has the permanent space it needs to advance its mission and maintain and preserve the historic cabin structure. 

What is the impact on the Anne Frank Memorial?

The initial design concept incorporates the Anne Frank Memorial and Marilyn Shuler Classroom for Human Rights into the landscape architecture of the new campus. 

There is a lot of glass facing the river. What about the birds?

The riparian habitat is part of what makes Boise so great! Bird strikes are a common concern when designing and building with glass. Best practices for mitigating these strikes will be addressed in the schematic design phase of the project (see timeline) which focuses on building materiality, construction methodology, and architectural details.

Open House Schedule: July 16-20

July 16-20, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

In this phase, we welcome community input on how the initial design concept meets the Vision & Goals of this project. The following questions are designed to:

  • Assess how well the design concept meets the Vision & Goals of this project. 
  • Seek thoughts and ideas on the type of programs and services desired in this new space.

The public will be asked to respond to the exterior design concept ideas and provide comment on how they achieve project vision and goals. We will also seek feedback on the types of services and activities the public hopes to see in this space.

July 16 - Library! at Bown Crossing, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

        2153 E Riverwalk Dr, Boise, ID 83706

July 17 - Library! at Cole & Ustick, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

        7557 W Ustick Rd, Boise, ID 83704

July 18 - Library! at Hillcrest, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

        5246 W Overland Rd, Boise, ID 83705

July 19 - Library! at Collister, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

        4724 W State St, Boise, ID 83703

July 20 - Main Library, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

        715 S Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702

Can't make it to an Open House?

You can comment on this project page, at the Boise Public Library website or at a Community Input Station at each of our locations between July 16 and July 23 at midnight.


A second series in the Design Concept phase will take place in September - Dates TBD

Welcome to the Main Library Campus Project outreach site!

The City of Boise is piloting this community engagement platform as a way to help you follow and participate in the Main Library Campus Project.

On Monday (July 16, 2018) we will begin our first series of Public Input during the Conceptual Design Phase. During this phase, we encourage you to respond to the exterior design concept ideas and provide comment on how they achieve project vision and goals. We will also seek feedback on the types of services and activities the public hopes to see in this space.

Please note that we will close for public input on Monday, July 23, 2018. At this time, we will collect all feedback to review with the mayor, council and Safdie Architects. There will be another series of open houses in September that shows further design refinement and interior renderings (dates/times TBD).

Please click the "Follow" button to receive news via email, and visit the "Comments" tab to share questions and thoughts with us. We'll respond as soon as we can!

A Community-Built Vision

In Spring of 2017, ArchNexus held a series of 7 Design Thinking Workshops on proposed uses for the library site. Input was collected from a wide cross section of library users and community members identifying the following priorities:

  • Connection with the River
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity
  • Reading Areas and Collections
  • Indoor - Outdoor Connections
  • Roof Top Garden
  • Food and Drink
  • Multiple Activities
  • Art Displays
  • Versatile Performing Arts and Activity Space
  • Gateway to the City
  • More Parking!

From here, the project team identified the project Vision and Goals:

Vision: A public center for knowledge, culture, and ideas.

Boise’s Library Campus will serve as a GATEWAY TO THE CITY, but also a gateway to our history, to new experiences, and to the ideas that shape our future. Its spaces and services, located in the heart of Boise’s Cultural District, will be available to anyone, yet distinct to our corner of the world.


1. DESIGN a modern and innovative new Main Library, Boise Center for Arts & History, and shared event space that serves as an iconic gateway to the city of Boise.

2. CREATE a public gathering space for Boiseans and a destination for out-of-town visitors.

3. Serve as a CONNECTION point — physically linking the city’s cultural, natural, recreational, and educational resources.

4. Develop a SUSTAINABLE facility that meets city energy goals, and demonstrates a commitment to community health and engagement.