Veteran’s Memorial Building

300 N Johnson Ave, Pocatello, ID 83204, USA

The Bannock County Veterans Memorial Building was constructed in the 1920s. The building was designed by architect Frank Paradice, Jr., and was built by contractor Alex Mathers. The total cost of approximately $50,000 was paid by subscription, collected from residents of Pocatello and Bannock County. Construction began in 1924, but due to supply difficulties and funding stops and starts, the building was not completed until 1926.

Constructed of brick with a tile roof, the building sits on a concrete foundation. The grounds slope steeply toward the Portneuf River so that the ground level on the northeast elevation (facing the river) is 9 feet lower than the ground level on the southwest elevation (facing N. Johnson Avenue). The building is U-shaped, with the arms extending toward N. Johnson Avenue.

The center bar of the “U” is a three-story, hipped-roof rectangle. On the southwest elevation (facing N. Johnson), the arms of the building are two stories, with the lower floor below ground level. The arms feature shaped parapets with hexagonal towers on the inner corners. Between the arms, a cantilevered roof extends over the entrance.

The original entrance may have been an arcade with multiple arched doorways. A modern glass and metal entrance has been installed, allowing entrance through a double glass and metal door. Two flights of concrete steps with metal hand railings lead to the sidewalk on N. Johnson. A protective shedroof cover supported on metal posts has been placed over the steps leading from the building to the first landing. 6 The northeast elevation faces the Portneuf River.

A two-story, rectangular section extends from the center of the building, slightly narrower than the three-story central section of the building. Originally, the lower floor of the extension was enclosed, with the upper level featuring an open arcade with five open arches supported by columns across the length of the rectangle and open arches at either end. This arcade has since been covered over and enclosed.

All sides of the building feature arched, multi-paned, casement windows with fanlights; most entrances are multipaned glass doors, with French doors on the doors of the enclosed area on the northeast elevation. Small, square, casement windows with a single diamond pattern line the upper edge of the top story of the center portion of the building on all sides.

The main portion of the building is constructed of a medium-toned red brick, but it is accented with patterns in a darker brick around the arched doors and windows. A ribbon of the darker brick runs along all four sides of the building at the top of the first story. A similar decorative line runs along the line of the second story, following the shaped parapets on the southwest elevation (facing N. Johnson Ave.) and the arches of the windows on the central section of the northeast elevation (facing the river).

The building retains its function as a community center and is maintained by The Bannock County Veterans’ Memorial Association, a non-profit organization. Emerson School, 526 S. Grant, was one of two schools designed by architect Charles B. Onderdonk for Pocatello and built in 1914. To save costs, Emerson and Whittier (located on the east side of the river) were designed to be built to the same plan using the same materials. The school is a rectangular, three-story, flat-roofed brick building on a concrete foundation. The center section of the southwest elevation (facing S. Grant Ave.) extends out from the building, giving the impression of a central building with wings.

The corners of the extending section are accented with stone quoins. Double door entrances are located at either end of the southwest elevation. The entrances feature stone lintels over multi-paned lights above the doors. The southwest facade is divided horizontally by a stone belt course at the main floor level, above the daylight windows of the lowest level.

A stone band also accents the second story above the windows. Multi-paned hopper windows are spaced at regular intervals across the southwest and northeast elevations, the pattern on the main and upper floors being one window, two groups of five windows, then one window.

The lower level windows are set in pairs of two, aligned with the groups of five on the main level. The sets of five windows on the main level have stone lintels, while the single windows on either end are accented with a keystone. A modillioned terra cotta cornice is topped by a shaped parapet at the center of the southwest elevation.

The exterior of the building has had few modifications?—the most obvious is that many of the windows have been covered over with wood or screens. The school building was sold by the Pocatello School District in the 1970s to a private school foundation that still operates a school on the premises.

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