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.
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!
Old Town Pocatello, Inc.
420 N Main St
Pocatello, ID 83204
Click Here to see what's happening downtown this week!
First Friday Art Walk
The April First Friday Art Walk has been postponed to May 1. The May First Friday Art Walk will be held in locations throughout Old Town on Friday, May 1. 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 Old Town and enjoy the charm of our monthly Art Walk!
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