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Downtown of Destiny

Published online: Nov 01, 2023 History
Viewed 1922 time(s)

By Courtney Hernandez, Communications & Event Coordinator for IFDDC

Located along the Snake River, where the area was first settled, you will find the bright and welcoming buildings of Historic Downtown Idaho Falls. The area started as Taylor’s Crossing when the railroad came through and within a few years evolved into Eagle Rock. In 1891, the town name was officially changed to Idaho Falls, as we know it today. The city has seen years of robbery, prostitution, crimes of passion and all-around mischief. After WWI the city was dubbed as the “City of Destiny." While there is so much history within, and possibly under, the streets of downtown and its prominent historic buildings are still standing today, and are just one way we can see the passage of time in Idaho Falls. 

365 Park Avenue 

Built in 1910, the building at 365 Park Avenue is now owned by Sid Page of Page Insurance. They have been restoring the building since they bought it. They saved the original windows, dug through plaster to restore the brick and matched the tile as close as they could on the façade. The building has been used as Deseret News, a pawn shop (Variety Mart), a high-end men's clothing store and a brothel. Present-day, the upstairs of the building is Page Insurance headquarters, and the first floor is going to be a tattoo shop. Page said the rumor is, there were tunnels leading from the railroad station to various downtown buildings, and his is one of them. While that has yet to be proven, the rumor is an interesting one to think about! 

398 W Broadway Street 

The now-green building on Park and Broadway started construction in 1893. When it was completed in 1894, it housed the NH Clark and E Fanning company store. The building survived the fire in 1904 that destroyed many buildings along Broadway, then known as Front Street. In the following years, the building was used as a general store, a dry goods and clothing store and eventually grew into the Hub Bar. Now, the McGeachin family uses 398 W Broadway as the Celt Pub & Grill. The restaurant has an Irish flare, and you can get Irish and American eats and drinks there. The McGeachin family also owns a distillery next door, and you can taste some of their Hotcha Vodka and Red Fern Gin that was created locally.

545 Shoup Avenue 

Beginning as the Virginia Hotel, Brunt Rogers turned this site into his empire, and became one of Idaho Falls' first millionaires. He expanded the building in 1941 and was known for standing on the corner and admiring his buildings like clockwork every morning. After he passed away, he was buried in the Rogers/Logan Mausoleum, which is known for being haunted. If you knock on the door at night, the corpses inside will knock back. The hotel had some famous people stay the night, such as Presidents Herbert Hoover and Ronald Reagan as well as Bing Crosby and Roy Rogers. Today, the building is being renovated. Third floor apartments will be available, while the second and first floors will be used as commercial space. Currently you can find Thistle Dew (a clothing store), Don Juan’s Barber Shop, Hair Co., Glow Hair Co., and others on the building’s first floor. In the alleyway to the West of Shoup Avenue, you can admire many murals through Pugsslane, the first street art alley in Idaho Falls. 

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