The Basque Block occupies only one block in downtown Boise, but it is felt around the world! The Basque culture in Boise, Idaho and the surrounding region call The Basque Block home. And in many ways, it was home to many of the Basque emigres and immigrants who came to Idaho in the 1800's through the end of the Franco era in Spain. It was a place where they could find a bed, food of their home country Euskadi and keep the Basque language Euskera alive.

Much has been written about the Basque people here and around the world. The attraction to Boise and The Basque Block is natural and almost accidental. But it is certain, The Basque Block is one of the reasons Boise is the dynamic city it is.

Gretchen Louise Hill has even written a scholarly work entitled "Inventing Heritage Tourism & Identity Politics in Boise, Idaho". In here thesis she writes about the growing strength of the ties between Boise's Basque community and the homeland Euskadi.

"Today, these transnational ties are stronger, which has profoundly influenced the creation of the Basque Block. The Basques strive to maintain their heritage landscapes to retain their cultural identity and educate present and future generations about their unique legacy."

The Basque Block and the new Auzolan initiative reflect the desire to continue building the identity of the Basque people in Boise and beyond.

To read Gretchen Louise Hill's 2012 "Inventing Heritage Tourism & Identity Politics in Boise, Idaho" - click here.

 
 Photo of the Basque museum and Cultural Center by Dave Green of North End Creative circa 2006.

Photo of the Basque museum and Cultural Center by Dave Green of North End Creative circa 2006.

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Although the Basque Block occupies only one block, it is in the heart of downtown Boise and its cultural, government and educational institutions.

Features of the Basque Block and surrounding area are included in the map below. The map is being updated to include more about downtown Boise as well as new projects.

Anduiza Building & Fronton

Basque Mural

 

Businesses on the Basque Block and in the neighborhood.

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The Anduiza Building was built as a boarding house by the Anduiza family in 1912 and is especially unique because of the fronton, or Basque handball court, inside. Although an engineering firm occupied it for almost 50 years, they never expanded into the area where the playing court is located, so it hasn't been modified since it was built. Two Basques bought the building in 1993. They lease the upper part for offices and the court to the Boise Fronton Association formed to preserve the sports of handball and pala, a sport played with a heavy wooden racquet and a hard rubber ball.

For a great history of the Aduiza Fronton check out "A Beautiful Room: 100 years of pala at the Anduiza fronton" by Jessica Murri by clicking here.

Boise Fronton Association

The Boise Fronton Association urges your new membership or renewal in order to continue using this great facility for recreational pala, handball games, dance practice, and other educational activities.

In order to encourage more interest, the Association is offering an introductory price of $50 for new members. 
Renewed memberships are $100 per year. 
Dues cover a minimal annual usage fee, liability insurance, and electricity.

Now is the time to show your support for this landmark facility. 
Please send your "Boise Fronton Association" membership dues or requests for more information to the following

Jerry Aldape
Syringa Bank
999 Main Street, Ste 100
Boise, ID 83702

If you are interested in playing pala or baleen, please contact the Fronton Association by emailing us here.

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The Basque Mural is located east off S. Capitol Blvd next to the Bank of America parking lot across from the Boise Grove Hotel.

The Letterheads, an international group of sign painters, painted this mural for the city of Boise at their annual convention in 2000. Lead muralist, Bill Hueg, designed the mural and the Yankee’s Machine Shop donated the panels.

Letterhead founder and Boise sign legend, Noel Weber, and more than 25 volunteers worked for three days to complete the project. The mural contains these images:

Basque Explorers & Merchants; Baserri, the Farmhouse; Picasso’s “Guernica”; Tree of Gernika; Uberuaga/Aguirre Boarding House; Oinkari Basque Dancers; St. John’s Cathedral; Jim Jausoro; Basque Sports; and Sheep Camp.

 

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