Historical Guide

A Treasured Past

Pocatello is a unique city, not only in the name it shares with no other, but because of its Downtown Historic District. This district is architecturally and historically significant and is one of the region's most diverse and well-preserved urban streetscapes. Founded in 1882 and named for a chief of the Shoshoni-Bannock Indian tribe, Pocatello began as a collection of boxcars and construction workers' tents on the Indian reservation where 40 acres had been set aside for the railroad. A special act of Congress on September 1, 1888, created the original town site and a temporary business district was developed.


Pocatello owes its foundation and much of its continued development to the railroad industry. With the construction of the Utah, Northern route in 1878 and the Oregon Short Line in 1882, Pocatello's future as a north-south junction point became assured. The appellation of "The Gate City" was acquired because of Pocatello's early importance as a junction point and rail route through the mountains.

 

The Old Town Historic District encompasses all or part of eighteen city blocks and is composed primarily of two and one-story commercial buildings. The primary building material throughout the district is brick, although hand-hewn stone and terra cotta were also used. The predominant facade line on the top of many second floors is accentuated by sheet metal cornice. A variety of architectural styles is represented in the district, including Gothic Revival, Romanesque Revival, Sullivanesque, and Art Deco, as well as many adaptations of early 20th century commercial styles with classical details rendered in either sheet metal or terra cotta.
For more Pocatello history, see the online edition of Rocks, Rails & Trails.

Alive Today

The historic buildings in Old Town Pocatello are alive today with activity.  With a collection of restaurants, shops, art galleries, and more, visitors to Old Town can experience our rich history with all of the conveniences of modern day living.  Come see for yourself!

Shop, Dine & Play in Old Town Pocatello

Old Town Pocatello, Inc.

420 N Main St

Pocatello, ID 83204

208.232.7545

spalagi@oldtownpocatello.com

News

Christmas Open House

  December 14!

Idaho’s Antique Row invites you to an Open House, where you can experience the sights and sounds of Christmas past and enjoy light refreshments as you explore each unique, locally-owned shop. Be sure to pick up a gift tag (one per family), have it stamped at each store, and leave it at your last stop in order to be eligible to win one of 5 gifts, donated by: Her Alibi Antiques, 211 S. 4th; Kanda’s, 410 S. Main; Old Town Mercantile, 134 N. Main; Vain & Vintage, 149 N. Main; and Elwen Cottage, 334 N. Main. You need not be present for the drawing, but 5 lucky winners will get to pick a wrapped gift from under the tree at Kanda’s, beginning at 7:30 pm Friday night. Get your free selfies with Santa from 3 to 7 pm at Kanda’s as well! Be sure to bring your camera!

 

Downtown Dollar Drop

 December 15!

The Old Town Pocatello elves will be out and about in our community on Saturday.  Beginning at 10am they will be distributing hundreds of "Downtown Dollars" to be spent at the participating shops and restaurants in Old Town.  It pays to shop small and we are helping you spend even more in our beautiful downtown!

 

First Friday Art Walk

  January 4!

The January First Friday Art Walk will be held in locations throughout Old Town on Friday  January 4.  The festivities will begin at 5pm and will include local and regional art, live music, food, wine tasting and more.  Plan now to come stroll through Old Town and enjoy the charm of our monthly Art Walk!

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