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

Haunted History Walking Tours

 October 9, 10,     16, 17, 23 & 24!

Our friends from Spiro Paranormal are back to entertain you during this year's 12th Annual Haunted History Walking Tours!  Smaller group sizes and safety precautions in place.  Tickets are on sale now.  Click here for details and to purchase tickets. Don't wait, because these tours sell out every year!

 

Trick-or-Treat the Old Town Streets

  October 30!

This year our signature Trick-or-Treat event will be hosted drive thru style in the parking lots on the 300 & 400 blocks of North Union Pacific Avenue.  From 3-5:30 there will be bags of candy for the kids, free t-shirts for adults (while supplies last), music and entertainment.  For the health and safety of our community, we are asking all families to please remain in your vehicles and follow the orange cones.  Thank you!

 

First Friday Art Walk

  November 6!

The November First Friday Art Walk will be held in locations throughout Historic Downtown Pocatello on Friday, November 6.  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!

 

Christmas Night Lights Parade

  November 27!

On Friday, November 27, from 6-8pm, plan to enjoy the Christmas Night Lights Parade. The presenting sponsor, ISU Credit Union, is returning this year to help make the parade possible. This year will be a little different with community members invited to stay in their vehicles and drive thru the parade route. Parade entries and floats will be parked along the parade route for all to enjoy. And of course, Santa will be at the top of Fire Truck #1 at the end of the parade and Santa's elves will have bags of candy for all of the kids.  Parade Registration is now open!  Click here for more details and to register today!

 

Small Business  Saturday
  November 28!
Celebrate Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 28, 11am to 3pm. The day will feature a free photo-op with Santa, shopping specials, and take home activities for the kids.

 

Relight the Night Historic Neon Sign Project 

Relight the Night is in the process of completing the fundraising necessary to relight the Buster Brown Neon Sign.  Donations are currently being accepted.  To help make this next sign relighting possible click on the Donate Now button below.  Thank you!

 

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