An effort to save and restore a 120-year-old downtown Boise mansion hit a snag at auction Friday.
Samantha Martin has been working with Preservation Idaho to prevent the Fowler house from being demolished. Her original plan was to raise enough cash buy the land across the street from the house at 5th and Myrtle and relocate it there.
Friday's minimum bid for the land was $460,000. Martin says there were about 20 people at the auction, but no one made a bid. That means the property now belongs to Washington Federal Bank. Developers can now approach the bank with private offers.
“There’s no way that Preservation Idaho has enough money to do that by ourselves," says Martin. "So we’re still hoping to team up with a developer. Our focus will still be to relocate the Fowler house. If this property just doesn’t work out for us, we still need somewhere for the Fowler house to go.”
Trilogy Development, Inc. owns the Fowler house and has told Martin she and her group Buffalo Heart Homes can have the old mansion if they move it somewhere else. But Martin doesn’t know how long she has before the house must be moved.
Martin managed to raise just under $7,000 for the auction. She says she plans to contact everyone who donated and find out if they want their money back, or would like Martin to use it to keep trying to save the Fowler house.
Fowler says the best scenarios would be to partner with a developer or find someone who wants to donate some land to relocate this historic home.
Learn more about Martin's plans for the Fowler house here.
Copyright 2014 Boise State Public Radio