Idaho Blueprint & Supply Co. will close in December

After 113 years, a downtown Boise institution will go down in history.

In December, Idaho Blueprint & Supply Co. will close its Main Street store next to Hannah’s for the last time.

Earlier this year, local developer Jay Story purchased the Idaho Blueprint building. And owners Christian and Sheila Cummins said it got them thinking about what’s next.

“The motion was started when Jay made us an offer. It got us thinking about what we should do. It’s sooner than we thought,” Christian Cummins said.

The Cummins said they had a son and a daughter who had other interests. And the business is changing.

“We didn’t want people to think we were closing because downtown required it or because of our friendly competitors,” Christian said. “I can’t imagine moving (the company) and going to a new place and making improvements to a new place. We looked at that – it just doesn’t work with leases and such. It wasn’t written in pencil.

Idaho Blueprint and Supply Co. is still serving downtown Boise customers for a few more months. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

“We were going to push (sales of) supplies and open more and try to do more,” Sheila said. “It was a matter of timing.”

“The impression evolves and is no longer the same,” he said. “Technology is changing, and you have to invest a lot more and a lot more space.”

After a few months of completing orders and saying goodbye to friends and customers, they will wrap up the business. What’s next for the building – and next for the Cummins is unclear.

Idaho Blueprint originated a few blocks away on Capitol Blvd., started by the Miller family. Christian’s grandfather, Tom Zabala, first worked in the business before becoming its owner. The business, located in the Adelman Building at Idaho St. and Capitol, started for more than 60 years before moving to the current building in the early 1970s. Tom passed it on to his daughter Linda, who took it over. passed on to his son Christian and his wife Sheila.

Site with history

The building itself also dates from the early 1900s. It served as a theater, sporting goods store, and even a small apartment. The site was even the site of Boise’s first fire station.

“He burned,” Sheila said with a laugh.

Since Idaho Blueprint moved in, it’s been a Main Street mainstay, with printing services and a few retail businesses uphill. But this area of ​​Main St. — and really most of downtown Boise — has moved away from retail and toward bars and restaurants.

Idaho Blueprint is wedged between Humpin’ Hannah’s on one side and Coa de Jima on the other. Amsterdam Lounge and Brickyard complete the block. Story’s company listed the space for rent earlier this year.

As for the Cummins, after completing a few more months of work, they say they will be traveling and tackling some household chores. But after generations of making plans for others, they have yet to make plans for their lives.

“Honestly, we really don’t know what’s next,” Christian said.

Back To Top