Idaho Building (1905)

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Idaho Building
Idaho Building (1905).jpg
The Idaho Building in 1905
General information
TypeExposition hall
AddressPortland, Oregon
OpenedMay 21, 1905
Design and construction
ArchitectWayland & Fennell

The Idaho Building at the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon, was a 2-story exhibition hall designed by James A. Fennell of the Boise architectural firm Wayland & Fennell. When the Idaho Building opened, journalist Blaine Phillips wrote, "The building is sublimely beautiful, the vivid colors which have been applied in perfect harmony with the surroundings, serving ably to accentuate the picturesqueness and uniqueness of the construction."[1]

Although constructed at the fair by the State of Idaho, the Idaho Building served as exhibition and entertainment space for three states without buildings, Montana, Wyoming, and Nevada, on days honoring the people of individual states.[2]


Dimensions of the Idaho Building were 100 feet by 89 feet, including a 12-foot wide entry hall leading to an exhibition room 100 feet by 60 feet, with reception rooms for women and men on each side of the hallway. The building included offices, a breakfast room, a kitchen, and two second floor apartments.[3][4] The Washington Times described the building as "of a style peculiar to inter-mountain countries,"[5] and the Deseret Evening News said it was "in a form somewhat resembling a Swiss Chalet."[6]

At night, between 400 and 500 incandescent lamps illuminated the building.[7]


In addition to agricultural, mineral, and mining exhibits, the building featured exhibits made by children in Idaho schools.[8][9] Thousands of educational pieces were displayed, including photographs, paintings, drawings, bound volumes, and weaving.[10]


At the conclusion of the fair in September, the Idaho Building received the gold medal, and Idaho received another gold for excellence at exhibition.[11] Idaho received a total of 91 gold medals, 46 silver medals, and 44 bronze medals awarded for its exhibitions.[12]

After the Exhibition[edit]

Near the end of October, 1905, the Idaho Building was purchased by Paul Wessinger, who planned to remodel it into a clubhouse.[13] Wessinger, son-in-law of Henry Weinhard, managed Henry Weinhard's brewery and was chairman of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition grounds and buildings committee.[14] The Idaho Building may have been demolished soon after the Exhibition, however, as many of the buildings were temporary structures not well suited to Portland's climate. Other buildings withstood years of neglect prior to demolition. Parts of two buildings have survived since the Exhibition, the NCR Building in St. Johns, now a McMenamins outlet, and the American Inn in North Portland, now a condominium.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Blaine Phillips (June 11, 1905). "Idaho at the Lewis and Clark Exposition". Idaho Statesman. Boise, Idaho. p. 10.
  2. ^ "Idaho Courtesy to Other States". Idaho Statesman. Boise, Idaho. April 26, 1905. p. 5.
  3. ^ "Acceptance of Building Plans". Idaho Statesman. Boise, Idaho. March 26, 1905. p. 5.
  4. ^ "To Be Fine Structure". The Lewiston Teller. Lewiston, Idaho. March 31, 1905. p. 1. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  5. ^ "Portland Ready for the Big Fair". The Washington Times. Washington, D.C. May 8, 1905. p. 3. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  6. ^ "Idaho's Building at Portland Fair". Deseret Evening News. Salt Lake City. April 4, 1905. p. 5. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  7. ^ "Work on Idaho Building". Idaho Statesman. Boise, Idaho. April 5, 1905. p. 3.
  8. ^ "Idaho at the Fair". The Idaho Republican. Blackfoot, Idaho. July 7, 1905. p. 1. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  9. ^ "Idaho Schools Are Expanding". East Oregonian. Pendleton, Oregon. May 23, 1905. p. 1. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  10. ^ "Idaho's School Exhibit". Montpelier Examiner. Montpelier, Idaho. June 23, 1905. p. 7. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  11. ^ "Gold Medal for Idaho Building". Idaho Statesman. Boise, Idaho. October 11, 1905. p. 2.
  12. ^ The State of Idaho. Idaho Bureau of Immigration, Labor, and Statistics. 1906. p. 255. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  13. ^ "Standing Ad for the Gem State". Idaho Statesman. Boise, Idaho. October 30, 1905. p. 3.
  14. ^ Who's Who in the Northwest. 1. Western Press Association. 1911. p. 67. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  15. ^ "1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair, Part I". PDX History. Retrieved January 7, 2019.

External links[edit]