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2015 Orchids and Onions

Since 1977, Preservation Idaho has hosted the annual Orchids & Onions Awards, a ceremony designed to celebrate those individuals and organizations that have made a positive contribution to historic preservation, and in turn, to bring awareness to those projects which have shown an insensitivity to historic preservation.


2015 Recipients

Excellence in Historic Preservation

Awarded to projects that have demonstrated outstanding adherence to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards in preservation, restoration, renovation, or adaptive reuse (residential or commercial).

Sandpoint Depot

Northern Pacific Railway Depot, Sainpoint

A renovation and rehabilitation of a 1916 National Register listed property by Amtrak, the Sandpoint Depot and Idaho Transportation Department.

Balancing Rock

Balancing Rock Patrol Point, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest

Restoration of 1935 Forest Service structure by Jerry Branning, Tom Wolf and volunteers with the Forest Fire Lookout Association.

LDS Tabernacle

LDS Tabernacle, Montpelier

Authentic renovation of a 1917 Pope and Burton designed Tabernacle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 

Owhee Hotel

Owyhee Hotel, Boise

Renovation of a 1910 Tourtellotte and Hummel designed hotel by Clay Carley, The Architects Group and LocalConstruct.

Contribution to Historic Preservation

Awarded to projects that have been successful in the tasteful restoration, addition, or remodel of an existing building (residential or commercial).

Nesbit-Tanner House, Sandpoint

A restoration of 1906 Queen Anne style home. Now adapted for commercial office space by James and Carol Harvey.

Smith-Hart Building

Smith-Hart Building, Idaho Falls

1950 Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership rehabilitation to become office space. This modern reinterpretation of a historic building involved public process and private investment to protect Idaho's history of growth in the atomic era.

Norton House, Boise

A renovation and restoration of a 1905 home by Phil and Sarah Norton.

St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Sandpoint

A tasteful renovation of an early 1900's Catholic Church to events center to allow continued community use. By Mark and Susie Kubiak.

Cultural Heritage Preservation

Awarded to educational programs and projects that have made a positive impact toward the preservation of cultural heritage and open spaces, as well as the restoration and rehabilitation of historic landmarks and roadside architecture.

Minidoka Honor Roll Project, Hunt

Meridian Historic Walking Tour, Meridian

A partnership between City of Meridian and its historic preservation commission and the Meridian Development Corporation allowed for a revamping and modernization of a walking tour that tells the story of Meridian's growth and history.

Heritage Stewardship

Awarded to organizations or individuals that have shown dedication to historic preservation through the long-term maintenance and care of historic, architecturally significant, or culturally important sites and structures.

Blaine County Board of Commissioners, Hailey

For over four decades incremental improvements have been made to this structure, one of the oldest county courthouses in Idaho. These improvements would not have been possible without the support from past and present elected officials.

Intermountain Gas Company Headquarters, Boise

Decades of maintenance and upkeep to this mid-century campus has kept many unique elements of Kenneth Brooks 1965 American Institute of Architects National Award of Merit winning building. 

Distinguished Preservationist

Awarded to professionals distinguished for service in historic preservation. Nominees for this award would be those whose job it is to further the cause of Historic Preservation in Idaho through direct projects or education.

Keith Jones, Boise

A structural engineer with fair, firm assesments of historic structures have been relied upon by preservationists and architects across the state of Idaho.

2015 Onion Award

Awarded to individuals or corporations who demolish historically significant buildings or sites or new construction that is insensitive or ignorant of the neighborhood’s history.

There was no Onion Award given in 2015

Awards Ceremony

The 38th Annual Orchids & Onions Awards Ceremony was held on Saturday, May 30, 2015.

The awards were held in Sandpoint at the request of the City of Sandpoint Historic Preservation Commission, and without their efforts and the effort of Melissa Bethel, this event could not have been a success. Others lending key efforts were the Sandpoint Events Center – Brad and Linda Scott for their generosity in allowing use of such a lovely facility – a 2014 Orchid Award winner – and their continued stewardship of this Idaho landmark.


Evaluation and Selection

Each year, an impartial jury is appointed by Preservation Idaho to review all nominations. This jury is typically made up of architects, preservationists, and historians. Evaluations are based upon information submitted in the nomination application.

Event Photos

For photo use or information, please contact Kathleen Barrett at info@preservationidaho.org or 208-424-5111