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: 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 a rumor about the owner. Was it true?
A: Probably not.
Q: I heard the owner filed a lawsuit accusing an interior decorator of fraud, forgery, and embezzlement.
Is that true?
Yes. The accused are Dan Sprague and Tracy Sprague of Sprague Solutions in Boise.
[Sprague lawsuit details]
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?
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 hazard. Imagine having a swimming pool next to your front door.)
Q: Is there a suit of armor in the foyer?
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: 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 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.