Historical Hardening: Preserving Boise's Iconic Concrete Structures

Historical Hardening: Preserving Boise’s Iconic Concrete Structures

Historically, steel has been hardened using carbon. This process is called Case Hardening and it creates a harder surface that resists wear.

This is the second post in a series that examines security and IT practices beyond Secure Technology Implementation Guides (STIGs). Read the intro post here.

The Peloponnesian Tombs

When University of Cincinnati archaeologists began excavating in an olive grove northeast of Pylos in 2015, they knew they were in the presence of something special. The team soon uncovered part of a massive limestone structure—the largest tholos tomb known to date—which was built around c. 570 to 560 BCE.

A tholos was a circular burial chamber (called a tholamos) with an interior dome that could be decorated and crowned with a low cornice. Often, these tombs included gutters running the length of their walls for offerings to be poured into them. click here for more information.

The Greeks

Although 20th Century concrete masterpieces are highly visible in the city’s landscape, they often receive little attention. This is largely due to a lack of awareness among citizens about their tangible cultural heritage. Notable Greeks include Renaissance painter Dominikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco), theatre and cinema actors Marika Kotopouli, Melina Mercouri and Ellie Lambeti, architects Stamatis Kleanthis, Lysandros Kaftanzoglou and George Candilis and urban planners Stamatis Pikionis and Georgios Kanellopoulos.

Case-hardening involves heating the metal and immersing it in a compound that is high in carbon such as bone meal, hoofs and horn. Using these materials encourages the formation of carbon dioxide and introduces phosphorus which helps to harden the steel.

The Nabataea

When the Nabataean kingdom controlled major trade routes, they amassed tremendous wealth that made them the envy of their neighbors.

Nabataean architecture was influenced by the cultures that surrounded them. This is evident in the temple complex known as the Temple of Oboda, which combines architectural building styles from the surrounding cultures.

This complex was built as a dedication to Nabataean king Obodas I. It was completed in 9 BCE. The temple was a powerful symbol of Nabataean royal power. It was a time when the backward nomadic Nabataeans were catapulted to center stage in world politics.


The Boise Building is a two-story brick masonry commercial building in the Georgian Style completed in 1913. It is one of the best-preserved service buildings associated with the historic industrial-wholesale district that ran along Front Street parallel to the east bank of the Willamette River in Salem, Oregon.

Case hardening is a process that was used in the Middle Ages and earlier times to give a harder surface to things such as rifle bolts and firing pins that would have repeated impacts with other surfaces. This was done by heating the steel while it was in contact with something that has a high carbon content such as hoof and bone meal.

The Bedouins

Known for their hospitality, Bedouins consider the entire tribe—their extended family—as one and will go out of their way to help. But, despite their innate sense of community, the Bedouins are finding it harder and harder to preserve their timeless way of life.

Groom began working with the Bedouins of Wadi Rum after being approached by representatives from a project called Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities (SCHEP), funded by USAID. The project helps the Bedouins document and protect their ancient rock art.

When a Bedouin stumbles across a piece of rock art, they can now use their smartphones to photograph it, record its location, and upload the data to a database.

The McClure Federal Building

In 2016, Homoly Construction took over the building and rehabilitated the second floor for offices. The removal of utilitarian fixtures allowed the historic open space to reclaim its original appearance.

The McClure Federal Building, constructed in 1961 and completed in 1968, consolidated federal agencies scattered throughout Boise into one significant, iconic structure. It was later renamed in honor of Idaho Senator James A. McClure.

It is the only mark of 1960’s Modernism of this scale, quality and character in Boise and the State of Idaho. The building has been designated a National Historic Landmark and any future changes must be approved by the GSA.

The Mardi Gras Ballroom

The lights have been turned off, the gleaming floor mopped, and the beer and wine wiped off the tables. Last month, the local venue known as The Mardi Gras held its last dance. It was called “Thru the Years — A Farewell to the Mardi Gras,” and featured The Blues Brothers Rock ‘N’ Soul Revue and The Mystics, both bands that have fond memories of playing there.

Search upcoming events at the Mardi Gras Ballroom, and get tickets with confidence from the most trusted independent ticket marketplace. All confirmed orders are backed by the Vivid Seats Buyer Guarantee.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *