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

Open to view or print a color map of Historic Downtown - Historic Downtown Pocatello
2020_map.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [2.9 MB]

Historic Downtown Pocatello

420 N Main St

Pocatello, ID 83204

208.232.7545

info@historicdowntownpocatello.com

Click Here to see what's happening downtown this week!

News

First Friday Art Walk

  February 5!

On Friday,  February 5, you are invited to come Downtown and enjoy First Friday Art Walk.  The festivities will begin at 5pm and will include local and regional art, live music, food, fashion and more.  Plan now to come stroll through Downtown and enjoy the charm of our monthly Art Walk!  Admission is free and so is the parking!

 

Easter Bunny Visits Downtown

  March 27

The Easter Bunny will visit Historic Downtown Pocatello on Saturday, March 27.  Watch for additional details as we get closer to March.  We are planning photos and eggs in a safe and healthy format for the children in our community.

 

Idaho Bridal Fair

  April 17!

From 9am to 3pm we will showcase everything an engaged couple will need to plan the perfect wedding, honeymoon and future. From florists to jewelers, and from caterers to entertainment, local businesses will display their products and services designed to help orchestrate the day you will treasure forever.  Guest and Vendor Registration is now open at www.idahobridalfair.com

 

Relight the Night Historic Neon Sign Project 

Relight the Night is in the process of raising funds for our next neon sign restoration.  To help make this next sign relighting possible click on the Donate Now button below.  Thank you!

 

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