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617 Ash Street circa 1970s, Courtesy of John Bertram

617 Ash Street circa 1970s, Courtesy of John Bertram

The Erma Hayman House is a historic site and cultural center that shares a dignity-centered history of the River Street Neighborhood through preservation, interpretation, and culturally mindful public programs. Through collaborative partnerships, the Erma Hayman House offers inclusive on-site programs and experiences that seek to directly support, serve, and amplify Boise’s diverse community. 

Tied into the goals of the City of Boise’s Cultural Master Plan, the preservation and interpretation of the 617 Ash Street property are critical components for representing those whose stories are often omitted from standard historical research. The home’s architecture also provides insight into stylistic and construction trends of the era and how these intersect with different demographic groups.

Project Background

The City of Boise acquired the property located at 617 Ash Street, the former home of longstanding resident Erma Andre Madry Hayman (1907 - 2009) in 2018. Managed by the Boise City Department of Arts & History, staff researched the property and neighborhood, oversaw site and program planning in conjunction with architects and technical staff, established the Erma Hayman House Task Force, facilitated the selection of a nationally-recognized artist for public art onsite, conducted oral histories, and established an archival photo and documentation collection around the history of the River Street Neighborhood. A project timeline provides context for past and future work on this site.

Erma Hayman House Task Force

Established in 2019, the Erma Hayman House advisory task force provides recommendations for the programmatic vision and outreach tactics surrounding the house, including guidance on the site’s future use, public art selection, historical and cultural context, and other community engagement strategies. This group's support and guidance are integral to the vision and daily operation of the Erma Hayman House.


  • Cherie Buckner-Webb
  • Kirsten Furlong
  • Richard "Dick" Madry
  • Jerome Mapp
  • Shannon McGuire
  • Jody Ochoa
  • Angela Taylor
  • Charles C. Taylor
  • Phillip Thompson
  • William "Bill" White III


Our sincere thanks to the many families who entrusted us with their time and generous gift of education, stories, and photographs, including: Connie Belle, Jerry Bridges, Cherie Buckner-Webb, John Hardy, Richard "Dick" Madry, and Jeanne Madry-Young, among others.

The Erma Hayman House project is and continues to be the result of years of research and support by numerous community members and stakeholders, including John Bertram, Preservation Idaho, Capital City Development Corporation, BROAD Approach, William "Bill" White III, Micron Foundation, Boise City Mayor and Council, and many others who have helped bring the Erma Hayman House project to fruition.