Amphitheaters have been an interest of mine since the early 1980’s when I applied for and received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to study them. Soon after, I was commissioned to build amphitheater-like seating behind the home plate backstop of our local softball field. The granite terraces have become a well used addition to the summer scene in Brattleboro, Vermont. Since then, I’ve been able to design and build lots of stone seating arrangements but nothing quite like a classic, half-shell amphitheater of old, until now.
As a first step in realizing the possibilities for designing an amphitheater for Boise, Idaho, I visited the city and was shown examples of existing works. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to me that a place with over 200 days of sunshine a year would have ample outdoor gathering places. The surprise and shock to this Vermonter was the 106° Fahrenheit August temperature. The next visit to Boise will be in October to instruct a dry stone walling workshop. May cool weather conditions prevail!