Center for Arts & History building

Center for Arts & History building

News Release

LC State to receive Orchid Award for historic preservation of CAH

LEWISTON, Idaho – For the fourth time in the past nine years, Lewis-Clark State College has received an award for its historic preservation of a campus building through renovation or remodeling.

College officials received notice this week that The Historic Preservation Commission, under the city of Lewiston, selected the college’s Center for Arts & History (CAH) for an Orchid Award for 2022. The college was honored under the category of Contribution to Historic Preservation for the masonry repair and window replacement at the Center, which is located at 415 Main St. in Lewiston.

As part of the biennial Orchid Awards program in Lewiston, LC State officials will receive a certificate award from the commission during a ceremony on May 14 at 11 a.m. at the Territorial Capital Building, located at 306 Third St. in Lewiston. The public is invited.

The Orchid Awards program “honors people, businesses or educational institutes whose projects and ongoing commitments have added to, protected, and preserved the community’s historic resources and lineage.”

In 2020, CAH underwent a major external masonry repair project, which included replacing bricks and mortar where needed. Some of the repair projects through the years used cement instead of mortar and the cement that was holding some of the bricks in place was replaced with mortar. Also, the second floor windows were replaced to make the building more energy efficient.

The two projects, approved by the Idaho Permanent Building Fund Advisory Council of the Idaho Division of Public Works, were funded by the Idaho Permanent Building Fund. The work took approximately five months to finish.

The 12,000-square foot building was completed in 1884 when it was known as Vollmer’s Great Bargain Store. It was custom built, beginning in 1883, for Idaho’s first millionaire, J.P. Vollmer. The First National Bank of Lewiston, which Vollmer started, occupied the building from 1904-1946 and then it was sold to First Security Bank, which operated in the building until 1989. In March of 1991, First Security Bank of Idaho donated the building to the LC State Foundation for use as a “center for arts and culture.” Ownership of the building was transferred from the Foundation to the college in October 2010.

In 2019, LC State earned a state Orchid Award from Preservation Idaho for its Contribution to Historic Preservation. The state Orchid awards honor those individuals and organizations that have made a positive contribution to historic preservation in Idaho.

LC State also earned Orchid Awards from The Historic Preservation Commission in 2015 and 2014 for its renovation of the Silverthorne Theatre and Thomas Jefferson Hall, respectively.