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For the week of Apr. 5 through Apr. 11, 2000

The old and the new

The stakes: Wood River Valley’s history and architecture


Express photos by David N. Seelig


old Bellevue city hallGone are the days of dirt streets and wooden sidewalks. Gone are the rumble of mule-drawn ore wagons and virgin valley floors.

Still, much of the pastoral feeling remains, found in the spirit of the Wood River Valley. It’s an aura that architects, planners, residents and developers are struggling, almost daily, to quantify, maintain or re-create.

Convictions about just who we are and what we should become are as diverse as residents’ backgrounds.new Davie-Reid Tribal Arts building

It’s a philosophical conflict, which, for example, wound its way through a recent Ketchum P&Z decision to temporarily suspend downtown building permits.

old Ketchum Mercantile buildingDuring the Wood River Valley’s current building spurt, some residents perceive an eclectic mix of styles and time periods. Others, however, are dismayed by what they see as a diminishing of "a small-town Western feel."

Sidewalks, traffic lights, a grinding commute, infinite construction—they are all symptoms of growth. If one thing’s certain, the valley is going to continue to swell against its existing boundaries.new St. Luke's Hospital building

A struggle—the old versus the new—is reflected in these photos.

—Greg Stahl

 

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Copyright 2000 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.