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This project was a pro bono service to the University of Idaho to conduct a feasibility study that examined the anticipated scope of work to convert the existing Fourth Street facility into the combination Prichard Art Gallery/University of Idaho VandalStore/Welcome Center. The study evaluated various factors, including potential challenges with existing conditions, financial considerations, and the overall feasibility of the project.
The facility is located at 114 East Fourth Street, Moscow, Idaho at the northwest corner of Fourth Street and Highway 95/Washington Street. Early drawings of the building dated March 20th, 1936, depict the original use as a creamery owned and operated by the Korter family, known as “Korter’s Pasteurized Milk”. The building later housed J&J Glass, before being purchased by the city in 1968 and becoming the City Hall and Police Station. The University of Idaho purchased the building from the City in 2021 with plans to convert the 9,000 SF space into an art gallery and retail store. Throughout its nearly 90-year life span the Fourth Street facility has seen numerous uses and various architectural modifications, none of which have been found to be documented. Comparing the original Korter Creamery drawings against the J&J Glass Company (circa 1960s-70s), and the present-day Washington Street facade, the extent of the modifications is evident. The exterior fenestrations have been made progressively smaller and fewer, with the complete removal of the original Washington Street large bay windows and double entry doors. Along Fourth Street the original four garage doors have also long since been removed. In their place, two entry stairs have been constructed. The original brick façade has been covered with shotcrete, and the once prominent Southeast entry doors have been closed in. The feasibility study explores reinstating this corner entrance. The West portion of the building was once a storage room with nothing more than a dirt floor and a finish elevation three feet lower than the rest of the building. At some point this area was brought up to match the floor elevation throughout the rest of the building. Extensive interior renovations leave very little of the original design existing aside from the structural system. Although the building is not on any historic registry, it is located within the Moscow Downtown Historic District with the current designation of “Noncontributing Property”. Part of the goal of the renovation would be to restore the historic façade and potentially achieve a “Contributing Property” status. To reach this goal the original character and materials of the Korter building will be maintained/restored. The building’s central location within Downtown Moscow offers strategic advantages. Its prominent position in the heart of the city enhances accessibility and visibility, making it easier for art enthusiasts to access the gallery. Additionally, the building’s historic significance adds to its allure, while also supporting the ongoing revitalization efforts within the Historic District. The project holds the potential for various operational opportunities, such as collaborating with local art organizations, schools, and artists. These partnerships can help foster community engagement and create enriching art programs, further increasing the appeal of the gallery. By establishing itself as a vibrant cultural hub, the facility can become a focal point for the local arts scene and contribute to the overall cultural development of Moscow. The final design as presented in the feasibility study will be used to pursue donations and funding for construction of the project.
Sustainable Design & Materials
As an adaptive reuse project, the goal of the Prichard Art Gallery is to reuse, revitalize, and restore as much of the original building as possible. The existing concrete floor will be uncovered and refinished, and the painted wood roof trusses will be sand blasted to restore their original finish. The exterior shotcrete will be removed to expose the original brickwork beneath. The wood used in interior features such as casework and decorative walls will be locally sourced.
Green Building Designation(s)
Date of Completion
118 E 4th St, Moscow, ID 83843, USA
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