History of The Grove Plaza

Can you imagine a shopping mall as the center of Boise’s downtown? Believe it or not, between 1965 and1985 the idea of revitalizing downtown with an eight-block regional shopping center was being pursued. However, in 1985, a citizen group took action and hired external consultants to provide recommendations on redeveloping downtown. After extensive research, an urban design team advised creating a major public open space along the 8th Street corridor.

The Boise Redevelopment Agency, now Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC), took action to create plans consistent with the consultant’s suggestions. A Portland based architecture and design firm, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF), was hired to create a Boise Downtown Urban Design Plan. This plan was approved by the Boise Redevelopment Agency Board of Commissioners in the spring of 1986, and The Grove Plaza and its north spoke were completed in September of that year. In December of 1986, The Grove Plaza was dedicated to the “People of Boise.”

Key components of The Grove Plaza were the commemorative bricks and other sponsored features, which the public helped finance. Between 1986 and 1989 the community helped furnish the plaza by donating money to buy trees, lamp posts, benches and, of course, personalized bricks. These features made The Grove Plaza the new heart of downtown where many special events have continued to take place throughout the years.