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Brief History of the Restoration Project


The nine-member Idaho State Capitol Commission is created and charged with completing a Master Plan for the restoration/renovation of the State Capitol Building.

The Legislature appropriates $120,000 and the design team of CSHQA/Isthmus is selected to develop the Master Plan.


The Master Plan is completed. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $64 million.


The Legislature provides a one-time appropriation of $32 million and authorizes the Commission to issue bonds for the remaining $32 million.


The restoration project is temporarily postponed because of projected shortfalls in state revenues. The Commission returns the $32 million appropriation to the State’s General Fund, and withdraws its request to issue bonds.

Nevertheless, the Commission is able to begin work on the restoration of the exterior of the Capitol. Between 2001 and 2002, about $1.5 million is appropriated for the Phase I Exterior Renovation.


The Legislature appropriates nearly $3 million to complete the Phase ll Exterior Renovation.


The Legislature revives hope for the interior restoration by extending the cigarette tax so that a portion of the revenue collected, beginning in FY07, is deposited into the Permanent Building Fund. The annual amount, estimated at $20 million, is earmarked for the repair, remodel, and restoration of the Capitol and state facilities pertaining to the Capitol restoration.


The Legislature authorizes the Capitol Commission and the Department of Administration to enter into agreements with the Idaho State Building Authority to finance the restoration and construction of two 2-story underground wings on each end of the Statehouse.

A total of $130 million is secured in bonds; McAlvain/Hummel, design/build professionals, is hired to begin work on the wings; and, the design team of CSHQA Architects and Lemley/3DI continues to finalize space-use plans of the existing building.

All exterior work is completed on the Capitol.


Governor Otter proposes that only the restoration of the existing Capitol be completed and not the addition of the 2-story underground wings. A compromise is reached, to proceed with the addition of two, 1-story underground wings and to reassign the use of the first floor of the Capitol to the Legislature rather than to the Executive Branch.

State officials, including the Governor, move to the old Federal Building, called the Borah Building. Serious work begins on the Capitol and the wings.


The Legislature meets in the old Ada County Courthouse—renamed the Capitol Annex—for the start of the legislative session.

Work continues on the Capitol restoration and the one-story underground wings on the east and west sides of the original Capitol building.


The Legislature again meets in the Capitol Annex; and work continues on the Capitol.


State government moves back to the stately Capitol for the legislative session that begins in January.