Q: I heard HGTV was filming at the house. Is that true?
A: Yes. HGTV flew in from London
and filmed at the castle for two days in October 2013.
The footage will appear in a future episode of
Q: I heard CBS News filmed an interview at the castle. Is that true?
A: Yes. Local affiliate KBOI shot the news magazine segment for CBS in September 2013.
It first aired in October 23, 2013.
Story and video HERE.
Q: I heard there was a Discovery Channel segment filmed on the castle roof. Is that true?
A: Yes. The Discovery Channel filmed a segment in November 2012, and aired it on
The Daily Planet in January 2013.
[See video, ffwd to 3:50.]
Q: I heard there was a Shakespeare Festival play performed at the Castle itself. Is that true?
A: Yes. There was a reading of the play Equivocation, which is about Shakespeare,
performed on the back terrace in late August 2012. Tickets sold out at the
Shakespeare Festival fundraiser in July,
and raised over $25,000.
Q: I heard there was a Ballet Idaho event at on the castle roof. Is that true?
did a Romeo and Juliet promotional photo shoot atop the
in August 2011.
Q: Why build a castle?
A: As the last vacant lot on Warm Springs Avenue, the location needed a landmark home.
Q: Is it in the Warm Springs Historic District?
A: The house sits right at the end of the Historic District.
Q: Did you have any trouble getting construction approval?
Q: How much did it cost?
A: About the same as the other large homes on Warm Springs Avenue.
Q: How many square feet is it?
A: About 5800 square feet total.
Q: How tall is the main tower? What's the width?
A: It rises to 35 feet above grade. The diameter is about 16 feet.
Q: When was it completed?
A: July 2011.
Q: How long did it take to complete?
A: 25 months.
Q: Why did the job stop for 5 months in 2010, and then start again?
A: The original contractor couldn't complete the job. We had to restart.
Q: Whose idea was it? Whose house is it? What does he do for a living?
A: Local entrepreneur Tim Barber.
Q: What inspired the tower, and roofline?
A: We incorporated elements of several actual castles from various locations around the world.
Q: What inspired the stone layout?
A: Many of the stone patterns are adapted from other homes on Warm Springs, and buildings in the heart of downtown Boise.
Q: Where is the stone from?
A: Over 90% of the exterior is local Idaho sandstone, from a quarry near Table Rock.
Q: Does the castle have a name?
A: No, but we are open to suggestions. "Boise Castle" suffices.
Q: Why didn't the owner name it after himself?
A: It's intended to be an inspirational landmark, as opposed to a monument to anyone in particular.
Q: Where is the family crest I read about?
A: There's no family crest.
Q: Why are there so few photos of the inside?
A: It's a private residence.
Q: I heard it was built just to anger one of the neighbors.
A: Not at all. The owner gets along just fine with all of his neighbors.
Q: Is it dank and drafty?
A: Neither. Thankfully. It's a modern home.
Q: Does the castle have a dungeon?
A: Not exactly. There's a modern basement with a stone passageway.
Q: Are there secret rooms or passages?
A: Actually, yes.
Q: Is there a wine cellar?
Q: Is there a moat?
A: Yes and no. The entry landscaping makes it appear as if there is a moat.
(A real moat would have been a serious hazard. Imagine having a swimming pool next to your front door.)
Q: Is there a suit of armor in the foyer?
A: Yes. Full suit of plate mail. We call him George.
Q: Is there a wooden dragon sculpture in the livingroom?
A: Yes. Crafted in Indonesia. We call him Pete.
Q: Is there an anglerfish sculpture upstairs?
A: Yes. Oxidized iron, Steampunk Victorian style. We call him Fred. (Though technically he's female.)
Q: Is there a gargoyle by the front door?
A: Yes. We call him Zuul.
(Really he's a "grotesque". Gargoyles channel water.)
Q: Is there a round dining room with a round table?
Q: Is there a theater room?
A: Yes. It's circular too.
Q: Is there a heated patio on the roof?
Q: Can one walk all the way to the top of the tower?
Q: How many steps are in the main tower?
A: 76. There's 22 per floor, plus another 10 to the top of the tower.
Q: Why are the two towers different?
A: The front tower is the King Tower, inspired by Magdala Tower in France.
The back tower is the Queen Tower, inspired by one particular lookout at the Tower of London.
Q: Are there any other King and Queen features in the house?
A: The clay registers (pots) at the top of the chimney (on the East side) are King and Queen styled.
Q: Is there an elevator?
A: Yes. In the center of the main tower. It goes to all four floors.
Q: Is the house ADA compliant? (handicapped accessible)
A: Yes, almost everywhere, even the rooftop patio.
Q: Why are the upstairs windows different on the front of the house?
A: Aesthetic decision. We wanted to break the symmetry.
Q: Why is the garage so tall? What's over it?
A: There's a full guest apartment over the garage.
Q: I heard you have bats! Is that true?
A: Yes. About a dozen bats have taken a liking to the stairwell outside the garage. No belfry.
Q: How many kids stopped by on Halloween 2011 and 2012?
A: Well over 1000 every year. We gave out over 3000 pieces of candy.