IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – Taylor's Crossing on the River is a beautiful place to head out and enjoy the nature and beauty in Idaho Falls, but it didn't always used to look that way.
Lorin Walker, President of McNeil Development, says it used to be filled with industrial buildings, more than two decades ago he envisioned a much more community oriented landscape for the area.
Walker says in 1999, he started purchasing plots of land little by little, until he was able to acquire the land along the river between Pancheri Dr. and Broadway St.
That's when McNeil Development got to work and created Taylor's Crossing from the ground up.
Much of the work started in the early 2000's along the Snake River. Walker explains how it used to be covered in trash and all sorts of debris, including dumped appliances and even a sewing machine. He says they took probably over 100 truck loads of debris out and away from the bank.
Years later, with the help of McNeil Development's Nathan Dirtschi, The River Gardens at Taylor's Crossing was developed creating a calm, clean riverside. Walker says each rock spanning that half mile along the river was brought in and carefully placed by Dirtschi.
The City of Idaho Falls was involved in the making as well installing lights, benches and irrigation along the Greenbelt.
Walker says everything that is apart of Taylor's Crossing has been carefully planned with meaning behind it including the two roundabouts.
The smaller roundabout has a hidden dinosaur crafted through rocks. Walker says they wanted to use natural elements to add some fun to the beauty.
Most people are familiar with 'The Protector,' also known as the eagle statue. It includes one eagle feeding eaglets, with another eagle protecting them from a nearby cougar all surrounded by a waterfall.
Walker says that statue pays tribute to what Idaho Falls used to be called; Eagle Rock.
The name Taylor's Crossing even has meaning. Walker says the City of Idaho Falls first was known as Taylor Crossing. This came because of Matt Taylor, a pioneer, who built a bridge to get the wagons and pioneer across the Snake River.
Although the area seems complete, Walker says there is much more he wants to finish and add to the area.
In the next few years, he anticipates adding more restaurants, residential complexes and shopping boutiques to the area.
Walker says he values the public's ideas in what they would want to be apart of Taylor's Crossing. He says he often looks at blog posts and talks with residents about it.
For now, he invites people to take advantage of what they have done along the riverbank and throughout Taylor's Crossing whether it be weddings and receptions, small performances, picnics or anything else that brings them joy.