The Grove Plaza

Visit TheGrovePlaza.com for the most up-to-date information about the renovation taking place on the plaza!

grove plaza AAF

The Grove Plaza is one of Boise’s leading outdoor venues, hosting over 60 events each year that range from large-scale concerts to cultural festivals. Located in the heart of downtown Boise, The Grove Plaza is the city’s most prominent public venue. With hundreds of people passing by the Plaza each day, and over 250,000 more visiting it for events, The Grove Plaza is probably the single most visited site in Idaho’s most visited city.

After nearly 30 years of use and enjoyment, The Grove Plaza is ready for some significant improvements. In conjunction with the construction happening at the neighboring property, CCDC is preparing to renovate and enhance The Grove Plaza in the spring of 2016. For more information on the upcoming renovation visit our Grove Plaza Project Page.

The Grove Plaza is owned by CCDC. The Boise Centre – Boise’s convention center – manages and maintains The Grove Plaza for CCDC. To rent The Grove Plaza contact Shira Hotvedt at (208) 489-3688 or shirah@boisecentre.com.

Established: The Grove Plaza in 1986
Established: The Grove Plaza in 1986
Future: The Grove Plaza in 2016
Future: The Grove Plaza in 2016

 

Engraved Bricks:

Personalized engraved bricks helped fund The Grove Plaza’s construction in 1986. Nearly 14,000 engraved bricks surround the plaza fountain. For decades, citizen’s trying to locate a particular engraved brick were asked to contact CCDC. Employees would “look up the bricks by the person’s last name and give you directions to the spot.” That high touch service remains, but, thankfully, in 2015 “The Grove Plaza Brickfinder” was created and is available online, 24/7/365. Happy brick hunting!

To help fund the upcoming renovation of The Grove Plaza, CCDC has re-opened personalized brick sales. Bricks must be purchased by February 1st and will be placed in The Grove Plaza. Visit www.TheGrovePlaza.com to buy your brick. (Original engraved bricks, or Founders Bricks, will be re-engraved onto a new brick and placed back into The Grove Plaza. The Brick Finder will be updated upon completion of the project, so you can easily find the location of your new brick!)

Time Capsule:

For The Grove Plaza’s inauguration in 1988 local school children were asked to write essays about what Boise would look like in 25 years. Selected essays together with an Idaho Statesman newspaper were buried in a time capsule. At the Plaza’s 20th anniversary celebration on November 23, 2007, the time capsule was opened and Mayor Dave Bieter read excerpts from several of the essays.


Background on The Grove Plaza:

Early History
  • Between 1965 and 1985, B.R.A pursued the idea that building a regional shopping mall was the way to revitalize Boise’s downtown. A significant number of properties in two project areas were acquired (11 blocks) and cleared (8 blocks) for this purpose.
  • At least four attempts were made with different developers – none of which came to fruition.
  • The shopping mall approach became controversial and divisive in the community – led to the election of a new mayor (Kempthorne) and council members.
  • Community came to the realization that a downtown regional shopping center was not economically feasible in the marketplace.
  • B.R.A adopted a new policy direction in May, 1985 calling for a wider range of uses in the redevelopment of downtown Boise.
  • A citizen group applied for and obtained the services of a R/UDAT team to advise Boise on how to proceed with redevelopment. The Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team Program is a service of the American Institution of Architects – which supplies a interdisciplinary panel of experts from its membership to communities seeking help with significant urban design and development issues. The team visits the community for four intensive, results-oriented activities with the community’s leadership and its citizens to identify practical ways to move forward.
  • The R/UDAT report was published in October 1985.
  • The R/UDAT report included a recommendation that a major public open space be created along 8th Street.
Where did the idea of The Grove Plaza come from?
  • The B.R.A. retained Zimmer Gunsel Frasca (ZGF), a Portland architecture, landscape architecture and urban design firm, in November 1985 to prepare an urban design plan – framework master plan for the Central UR District consistent with the recommendations of the R/UDAT report.
  • The B.R.A. Board of Commissioners adopted the Boise Downtown Urban Design Plan – Framework Master Plan prepared by ZGF in April 1986.
  • This plan emphasized the importance of creating a central community gathering place (referred to as the major public open space or MPOS).
  • Diagrams in the plan and subsequent design concepts prepared by ZGF show a circular plaza centered on the intersection of 8th St and Grove St rights-of-way with three rings of trees (36 trees total). The plaza was linked to Main St, Capitol Blvd, Front St and 9th St by pedestrian promenades also lined with trees. All of this work was for the B.R.A. not Boise City.
  • The B.R.A invited the citizenry to submit names for the plaza – the winning selection was The Grove.
  • Construction drawings for The Grove plaza were prepared by Jensen Belts Associates in August-September 1986.
  • The B.R.A. built the plaza, the north spoke and a portion of the south spoke by December 1986. The Grove was dedicated to “People of Boise” on December 6, 1986.
  • The south spoke and west spoke were completed when the Boise Centre on the Grove was built (1988-89).
  • East spoke was built in 1990 with improvements to west side of Capitol Boulevard.
Other Items of Interest
  • Between 1986 -1989 – B.R.A. invited companies and the community to help furnish The Grove plaza by donating money to buy trees, drinking fountains, flower planters, lamp posts, bollards, trash cans, benches, colonnades, street clocks, and a fountain. The campaign was called “Greening the Grove”:
    • Fountain was donated by Boise Water Company – $50,000 – installed in 1990 and ownership transferred to CCDC.
    • Idaho Statesman – Bench $650
    • Kiwanis Club – Bench $650
    • Tomlinson & Associates – Bench $650
    • Dr. A.S. Cudmore – Bench $650
    • Philip Wickstrand Dufford – Tree $400
    • Rose Roberts – Tree $400
    • Envirosafe Services of Idaho, Inc – Trash Receptacle $300 – plaque “Envirosafe Services of Idaho, Inc.”
    • Pat “Trash” Conner – Trash Receptacle $300 – plaque “Donated by the dirty mind of Patrick M. “Trash” Conner for a cleaner Boise”