Wallace, Idaho, is unique because of its fine collection of turn-of-the-century buildings, some designed by nationally known architects. The entire town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and whole blocks in the town’s business district are virtually still intact and have remained so for at least a century or more.
There has been relatively little modernization and little restoration. On this amazing tour, you may be looking for interesting architectural features like cast iron pilasters and cornices, decorative glass, and beautiful terra cotta trim. In some instances, you will be able to see examples of the old beautiful glass windows that have irregular surfaces. It should be mentioned that records occasionally conflict on construction dates, etc. We have listed the most popular dates in these instances.
Downtown Wallace was destroyed by a fire on July 27, 1890. Only two structures survived. The surrounding forests also were spared. Reconstruction began immediately, this time with predominately masonry structures for better fire resistance. Three of these 1890 vintage buildings still grace the corners of Sixth and Bank streets. The Wallace Walking Tour begins at this intersection and for information on a great Wallace to Murray Road Trip, check out this page.
1. White and Bender Building (524 Bank Street, SW corner)
This is believed to be one of the first buildings started after the fire, this recently restored structure has a pressed-metal turret characteristic of the Queen Anne style. Portions of the interior still have some of the old wood typical of a drug store decor. The Rexall Drug business has since transformed into the Silver Capital Arts and Free Mineral Museum in the front and the Wallace Wine Cellar in the rear. Various business and professional offices occupy the second floor.
2. Rossi Insurance Building (602 Bank Street)
This building was originally built for the Bank of Wallace in 1890. After that bank failed by year’s end, another bank took over, struggled, and also failed. In 1892, the First National Bank of Wallace was created and occupied the building until 1916. In 1895, the second story and pressed metal turret were added. The rear entrance features double doors with leaded glass and those are topped with a fan window pattern of elaborate leaded glass. Some dates conflict on this work. Herman Rossi purchased the building for his office and it has been occupied by his organization since at least 1917.
3. DeLashmutt Building (424 Sixth Street, NW corner of Sixth and Bank Streets)
This building served as the Shoshone County Courthouse from 1898-1905 when a new structure was built one block east. Before that, it housed Segar’s Stationery Store and the Wallace Post Office. Check out as well this post about historic Hanson, KY.
4. The First National Bank Building (417 6th St., NE corner, 1916)
This 2nd renaissance revival structure is known for its white terra cotta looks structure is distinguished by its round-arched windows, Doric columns, pedimented entry, parapet, and cornice. It is quite similar to the First National Bank Building in Pocatello as well as Boise’s Alexander’s Store. The building went through extensive restoration work in the 1980s.
5. The Idaho Building (413 6th St., 1917)
The two-story red-brick building was constructed for Mrs. Otterson and O.D. Dekell Jones. It is distinguished by its original mezzanine windows and the extensive terra cotta trim. More Historical Sites in Wallace are listed here.
6. Holahan-McKinley Building (SW corner of Sixth and Cedar, 1900-1901)
This building housed the Bank of Commerce until it went bankrupt. Some documents also refer to the building as the O’Neil-Samuels Building. The entrance has a stunning entry with Corinthian columns with a round-arched pediment. The ground floor at one time housed five separate stores. For many years, several professional and business offices were located on the second floor, and private residences made up the third.
7. Wallace Corner Hotel (525 Cedar)
One of the first dozen masonry structures to go up after the 1890 fire, it was originally known as the Fuller House or Fuller Hotel. At the time, it was the largest and finest hotel in town. The original brick has been stuccoed, but the first story cast iron work remains intact. The first-floor interior was extensively remodeled in the 1980s to accommodate individual shops. The upstairs interior once had a winding staircase, bathrooms on each floor, and sleeping rooms of generous size for the period. The exterior would be an excellent candidate for further restoration.
8. The Arment Building (601 Cedar, 1911)
This structure was the third Arment building on the same lot. The first was destroyed in the 1890 fire; the second was a frame building which was replaced by the present masonry structure. The first floor of this structure has been extensively remodeled, but the second floor retains its white brick ornamentation and cornice. This floor also operated as a bordello as late as the 1980s. See also this post about how Teresa Anthony restored Historic Hanson in Kentucky.