The Grove Plaza
Visit The Grove Plaza website to find your personalized brick and keep up-to-date on upcoming events!
The Grove Plaza is one of Boise’s leading outdoor venues, hosting over 60 events each year that range from large-scale concerts to cultural festivals. Located in the heart of downtown Boise, The Grove Plaza is the city’s most prominent public venue. With hundreds of people passing by the Plaza each day, and over 250,000 more visiting it for events, The Grove Plaza is probably the single most visited site in Idaho’s most visited city.
The Grove Plaza was transferred to the City of Boise in late 2018. The Boise Centre – Boise’s convention center – manages and maintains The Grove Plaza. For inquiries regarding renting The Grove Plaza, please fill out the Boise Centre’s Event Inquiry Form. Learn more about events on The Grove Plaza HERE.
Personalized engraved bricks helped fund The Grove Plaza’s construction in 1986. Nearly 19,000 engraved bricks pave The Grove Plaza. Come read the names, messages, and stories told through the engraved bricks. Find the location of your engraved brick with the Brick Finder!
The Grove Plaza Fountain
You haven’t lived if you haven’t run through the fountain at The Grove Plaza! Because it’s situated at ground level, children and dogs love to play in it, and you’ll even catch adults biking through on a hot day. The enhanced fountain has a dozen programmed routines, including a mist feature, as well as integrated lighting effects for evening shows and night time ambiance. The fountain is in operation 8:00am-11:00pm, 7 days a week, May – October (weather permitting).
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Background on The Grove Plaza:
Between 1965 and 1985, the B.R.A pursued the idea that building a regional shopping mall was the way to revitalize Boise’s downtown. A significant number of properties in two project areas were acquired (11 blocks) and cleared (8 blocks) for this purpose. At least four attempts were made with different developers – none of which came to fruition. The shopping mall approach became controversial and divisive in the community and led to the election of a new mayor (Kempthorne) and council members. The Boise community came to the realization that a downtown regional shopping center was not economically feasible in the marketplace. In May 1985, the B.R.A. adopted a new policy direction, calling for a wider range of uses in the redevelopment of downtown Boise. A citizen group applied for and obtained the services of an R/UDAT team to advise Boise on how to proceed with redevelopment. The Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team Program is a service of the American Institution of Architects – which supplies an interdisciplinary panel of experts from its membership to communities seeking help with significant urban design and development issues. The team visits the community for four intensive, results-oriented activities with the community’s leadership and its citizens to identify practical ways to move forward. The R/UDAT report was published in October 1985 and included a recommendation that a major public open space be created along 8th Street.
The B.R.A. retained Zimmer Gunsel Frasca (ZGF), a Portland architecture, landscape, and urban design firm, in November 1985 to prepare a framework master plan for the Central UR District consistent with the recommendations of the R/UDAT report. The B.R.A. Board of Commissioners adopted the Boise Downtown Urban Design Plan – Framework Master Plan prepared by ZGF in April 1986. This plan emphasized the importance of creating a central community gathering place (referred to as the major public open space or MPOS). Diagrams in the plan and subsequent design concepts prepared by ZGF show a circular plaza centered on the intersection of 8th St and Grove Street rights-of-way with three rings of trees (36 trees total). The plaza was linked to Main Street, Capitol Blvd, Front Street and 9th Street by pedestrian promenades also lined with trees.
Between 1986 -1989 – the Boise Redevelopment Agency invited companies and the community to help furnish The Grove Plaza by donating money to buy trees, drinking fountains, flower planters, lamp posts, bollards, trash cans, benches, colonnades, street clocks, and a fountain. The campaign was called “Greening the Grove”:
- Fountain was donated by Boise Water Company – $50,000 – installed in 1990 and ownership transferred to CCDC.
- Idaho Statesman – Bench $650
- Kiwanis Club – Bench $650
- Tomlinson & Associates – Bench $650
- Dr. A.S. Cudmore – Bench $650
- Philip Wickstrand Dufford – Tree $400
- Rose Roberts – Tree $400
- Envirosafe Services of Idaho, Inc – Trash Receptacle $300 – plaque “Envirosafe Services of Idaho, Inc.”
- Pat “Trash” Conner – Trash Receptacle $300 – plaque “Donated by the dirty mind of Patrick M. “Trash” Conner for a cleaner Boise”