Fort Russell Historic District Reconnaissance Survey and Potential District Expansion
For the past year the City of Moscow Historic Preservation Commission has been working with A.D. Preservation, a historic preservation consulting firm, to conduct a reconnaissance survey of the Fort Russell Historic District and the surrounding neighborhood. The goal of the reconnaissance survey is to inventory the current condition of properties within the Fort Russell District and also inventory properties on the periphery which may have the historical character to potentially be included within a potential expansion of the district.
The existing Fort Russell Historic District was first established as a historic district in 1980 – 35 years ago – and currently contains 116 properties. Properties are required to be at least 50 years of age to be declared historic, so many of the houses built in the 1930's were not included in the Fort Russell Historic District. This created an irregular boundary which makes it difficult to determine which homes are (or are not) in the District. The original boundary also left out many important buildings such as the McConnell Mansion, the 1912 Center, and the Methodist Church.
The Commission has determined that the existing district needs to be updated. The recommendation is for the district boundary to remain roughly the same on the west and north, but be expanded to Third Street on the south and Hayes Street on the east, with some exceptions.
The Commission conducted an informal open house meeting at the 1912 Center on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, to allow residents to review the results and recommendations of the Fort Russell reconnaissance survey and provide feedback on the proposed district expansion. If you weren't able to attend the open house meeting or would like to review the presentation materials again, a PDF copy of the posters, reconnaissance survey, and survey maps are available for download at the top of this page.
On July 20 Moscow City Council authorized the submittal of a National Register Nomination for the expanded district. A copy of the draft nomination submitted to the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is available for download at the top of the page. The Idaho SHPO will be reviewing the nomination through the end of 2015 after which it will be forwarded to the Idaho Historical Sites Review Board, which next meets in June of 2016. The Board will then forward the nomination to the National Park Service in Washington D.C. and a final listing decision will be made within 45 days. Anticipated listing of the expanded Fort Russell Historic District on the National Registry will be Fall of 2016.