Butte Historic District, Bounded by Copper, Arizona, Mercury & Continental , Butte, Silver Bow County, MT
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Mercury & Continental, Butte, MT
Find maps of Butte, MT
Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER MT-35
Building/structure dates: 1875 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1890 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1904 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1917 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1930 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1945 subsequent work
National Register Number: 66000438
Significance: As early as 1864, Butte prospered from gold mining. Yet, as was the case in many western mining settlements, Butte's first residents built as few structures as possible, as quickly as possible. These rugged individuals were interested in what lay in Butte's soil, not on its surface. By late 1867, the 180-acre townsite had been platted and there were centers of activity along Main Street with scattered commercial and residential activity along Quartz, Copper, Park , and Broadway...
Patterson, H. M.
Heinze, F. Augustus
Link & Haire
Lowe, Jet, Photographer
Hill, Isabel, Historian
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
1. View looking south on Montana Street. The Silver Bow County Courthouse (1910-1912) is on the left.
2. Main Street, looking north.
3. Park Street, looking west from Wyoming Street.
4. View to the north on Main Street. The eight story building in the center is the Hirbour Block (1901), a steel frame brick and stone building.
5. View to the south on Main Street.
6. View to the north on Main Street.
7. View to the east on Broadway. The building with the clock tower is the City Hall (1891).
8. View to the west on Broadway. The First Baptist Church (1907) is in the center background.
9. Montana Street looking north.
10. View to the north on Utah. The Seattle Block (ca.1912) is on the right.
11. View of Uptown Butte with the Courthouse to the left.
12. General view of Butte. The Federal Building (1904) is in the center background.
13. View looking south on Main Street. The tall building in the background on the right is the Metals Bank Building (1906), designed by Cass Gilbert.
14. View to the south on Main Street.
15. View looking west on Broadway.
16. View to the west on Broadway.
17. View to the east on Park Street. On the left is the Mayer Block (1901), which has intricately laid out checkerboard, diamond, and triangle patterns in relief on the south facade. The Metals Bank Building (1906) and the Phoenix Building (1906-1907) are visible in the center, and the Stephens Block (1890) on the right of the photo. The Stephens Block was designed by H.M. Patterson, and features a variety of window types and an oriel. The original entrance to the upper stories was most likely located under the tower through a flat-angled doorway.
18. Detail of the oriel of the Stephens Block.
19. View to the north on Main Street. Cass Gilbert's 1906 Metals Bank Building is to the left.
20. View north on Main Street; the building on the left was built 1890-1900 as a carriage shop. Cast-irom storefronts are inscribed 'Montana Iron Works, 1896.' The second floor housed the Silver City Club (a club for Blacks) from 1945-1960. The central window of the facade is modeled on the Palladian window, and the building also has a corbelled cornice. The building is rather elaborate for a carriage house, and its historic integrity is largely intact.
21. On the left is the Butte Floral Co. It was built sometime before 1884, and housed the offices of the Daily Intermountain and the Butte Miner. The building was remodeled in 1906, and a green-glazed brick facade with three ogee-arched was added. There is a wide wooden cornice, with a band of egg-and-dart molding. The parapet is castellated. Adjacent to the Floral Co. is the Mantle and Bielenberg Building, constructed in 1891. Interesting features include the large arched entrance and romanesque-arched windows on the third floor. The original cornice has been removed.
22. Detail of the upper story of the Butte Floral Co.
23. View of the Helsinki Bar, one of the few structures remaining from the Finntown area east of the central business district.
24. The State Cafe on south Main Street. The Pincus Building (1894) is on the right.
25. Detail of the upper story of the State Cafe.
26. Door leading to the upper story of the State Cafe.
27. Veterans of Foreign Wars Building, originally home of the first permanent Butte Fire Department. It dates from the 1880s and has been substantially altered.
28. Brick apartment buildings with arched window openings, string courses, a brick cornice, and an interrupted brick frieze.
29. Detail of MT-35-28.
30. Victorian shingle-style houses at 625-627 North Main Street.
31. Residential structures. A headframe is visible in the center of the photograph. This is at Centerville, near Butte.
32. Victorian house in the Romanesque style, with carpenter gothic detail. Note proximity of housing and mining operations.
33. Late 19th or early 20th century housing adjacent to mine.
34. Residential structures near the outskirts of Butte.
35. Sign painted on the side of a building; Lutey's was one of Butte's major grocers in the early 20th century. The First Baptist Church is visible in the background.
36. Detail of a commercial sign painted on the side of a building.
37. Detail of a sign painted on the side of the Mantle and Bielenberg Building, in which the Creamery Cafe was located. The building with the Geo. Steele Co. sign painted on it was built in 1891 and housed the International Order of Good Templers. The Legget Hotel is beyond.
38. Detail of a sign painted on the side of a building. The structure has a timber lintle and a piece of wood attached to the wall above the windows, giving the impression of a string course.
39. Commercial sign painted on the side of a building.
40. Sign painted on the side of a building.
41. Staircase in an unidentified building. Many boarding houses and lodgings were built with central stairwells and double loaded hallways which were lit by skylights. This is probably the interior of a building constructed in the 1890s, when more elegant housing was constructed than had been previously.
42. Interior view of the bathroom of an unidentified building.
43. Detail of a contemporary mural depicting mining operations.
44. General view of Butte, possibly from the more recently settled area to the south.
45. General view of Butte, possibly from the more recently settled area to the south.
46. General view of Butte.
47. General view of Butte.
48. Mount Vernon Hotel, pre-1884, West Broadway between Hamilton and Montana Streets. This structure was used as a hotel continuously between the time of its construction and 1969, with few modifications.
49. Detail of the right storefront, currently used as a restaurant.
50. The apartment building on the left (164-166 West Granite) was built about 1885-1886, and was used as a combination of residence and rooming house. It is one of the few remaining wood-frame structures dating from the beginning of Butte's economic and building development. Modifications, both interior and exterior, have been minimal, and the historic integrity of the structure has been retained. The Courthouse Grocery on the right (ca. 1887), is another early wood-frame building, and was also originally used as a residence and rooming house. It was modified in the early 20th century to accomodate commercial use on the ground floor, but the historic fabric of the structure is largely intact.
51. Owsley Block, 43 East Park, 1889. This building features projecting bay window units, and curved balconies on the upper two floors, and modernized storefronts at the ground level. It was built for William Owsley, who served a Mayor of Butte 1884-1885. It originally had two storefronts, with lodgings and meeting rooms for clubs above.
52. The Murray Motors Building on the right (101 South Colorado) is a one story building with a full basement for automobile storage. It has pest and beam construction, and has been altered only slightly. Both street facades have low, stepped gables. Beyond it, is the Parisian Dye House (56-60 West Galena), built in 1891 to house the Paumie Cleaners. The building still has its original cast-iron storefront on the ground floor as well as the original pressed-tin ceiling and woodwork inside. Metal window sills and lintles have been painted.
53. Shiner's Furniture (75 East Park) was built in 1892 and housed a restaurant, two storefronts, and lodgings. The facade, of brick and rough quarry stone, is divided visually by having the western portion extend one story higher than the eastern. Designs for the cornices and top stones are also different. The east portion has a pediment; the western a three-bay apex. The first floor has a modern plate-glass storefront with metal canopy.
54. The Curtis Music Hall (15 West Park) dates from 1892. This is one if the more architecturally interesting buildings remaining in Butte, with a variety of window types, a corbelled parapet extending over one bay, a central gable flanked by decorative square towers, a turret, and a richly decorated facade. The storefront has been modernized with plate glass windows and a metal canopy.
55. Front facade of the Curtis Music Hall.
56. Interior view of the Curtis Music Hall stairwell.
57. The Copper Block (58 East Galena) is an L-shaped brick building constructed in 1892.
58. View of the staircase in an unidentified building. This may be the Copper Block (1892), which served as lodgings for prostitutes around the turn of the century.
59. The right hand portion of the Wah Chong Tai Co. was built by a Chinese immigrant in the late 1890s as a noodle factory and store for Chinese imported goods. The left portion was constructed in 1909 and a noodle parlor was opened on the upper story. This building has a distinctive oriental design around the windows. Both buildings are substantially intact, and retain basement level storefronts.
60. The Pincus Building (1894, 22-30 South Main Street) has a large, cast-iron storefront with ornate capitals at the lintle-beam. There are also elaborate brickwork string courses, window details, and a cornice.
61. Hennessy's Department Store (130 North Main, 1897-1898) is a steel frame and brick structure designed by Frederick Kees of Minneapolis. It has inlaid marble tiles in the halls, and plate glass windows framed in copper on the first and second floors. There is also a cast-iron and ornamental glass lower level and terra-cotta detailing around the windows. The entrance is an eliptical arch with iron grill work.
62. Detail of the entrance to Hennessy's Department Store.
63. The building on the left is an addition to the Hennessy Block, date of construction unknown, though probably ca. 1917. The two story building between it and the Hennessy Department Store was built in 1917 to connect the two larger structures. It retains its original storefront.
64. Detail of the brackets supporting the cornice of the Hennessy Department Store addition. The building on the left is unidentified.
65. Butte Fire Hall (17-19 West Quartz, ca 1900) is a two story brick bearing wall structure; the photograph shows the north facade. The south facade has a partial cast-iron storefront on the first floor. Some second floor windows have been re-bricked, and the parapet and balconies are deteriorating.
66. The Thornton Block was built in 1900 at 65 East Broadway. It has a cast-iron and glass canopy over the first floor entrance on the south side. F. Augustus Heinze, the copper magnate, was a long-term resident of Thornton's Hotel. It was remodeled in 1947 by the Anaconda Copper Mining Employees Club, but much of the interior detail--woodwork, door trims, etc.--remains. The exterior has not been substantially altered.
67. East Broadway entrance to the Thornton Block.
68. Montana Theater, built on North Montana Street in 1901 as Sutton's New Grand Theatre, had a seating capacity of 2,175. In its heyday, this theater attracted the most famous acts of vaudville, opera, and theater. The upper stories are built of yellow painted brick, with terra-cotta applied in a stone pattern on the ground floor. The entrance has been modernized with a wall of glass bricks. On the north side of the theater is a four story building which provided a side entrance to the theater and had storefronts, with apartments above.
69. The Imperial Block (80-82 East Park) was built in 1900 for stores and lodgings. The ground floor has its original cast-iron storefront. The Ivanhoe Block was built in 1905 and also served as lodgings on the upper levels, above commercial space. Its storefront is covered with wood paneling. Bay windows in the upper two floors are divided by circular arches of egg-and-dart molding.
70. The Miners Union Local #1 was built at 125 West Granite in 1906 to house the Silver Bow Club, an exclusive Butte businessmen's club. The building was designed by Link and Haire, Architects. The Club sold the building in the 1940s. The foundation has steel beams laid in the concrete footings, and the basement level is of sandstone. Marble, hardwood and stained glass remain as interior finishes.
71. The Carpenter's Union Hall (156 West Granite) was built in 1906 of brick; the three entrances are surrounded by dressed sandstone. Both interior and exterior retain their historic integrity.
72. Detail of keystone emblem over the main entrance to the Carpenter's Union Hall. The inscription translates 'Labor conquers all.'
73. The Metals Bank Building (now the State Savings Bank) was designed by Cass Gilbert and built in 1906, under the suoervision of Link had Haire, Architects. The structure is L-shaped, with oak and tile finishes on the interior.
74. The Butte Water Company Building (124 Weat Granite) was built in 1907 for the Montana Independant Telephone Company, which occupied it until 1918. Since then, it has been occupied by the Butte Water Company, and has not been altered substantially. It was designed by George H. Shanley.
75. The Pekin Noodle Parlor was built in 1909 at 115-119 South Main Street. Originally it housed a gambling room and saloon in the east section of the ground floor, and a Chinese herb doctor's office in the north. The noodle parlor was on the second floor. The storefront has not been altered, and features a decorative wooden entablature.
76. The Silver Bow County Courthouse, 1910-1912, at West Granite and Montana Streets, was designed by Link and Haire. The building has a dressed sandstone foundation, brick walls, and sandstone trim, parapet and columns. It was used as a barracks for the State militia when the city was placed under martial law following the dynamiting of the Old Miners' Union Hall in September, 1914.
77. The Bertoglio Storage and Appliance Company (804 South Utah) dates from ca. 1915. window dimentions vary throughout the building, and many have been partially bricked in. A retaining wall shores up the rear of the building, and there have also been modifications to the interior.
78. West facade of the Bertoglio Storage and Appliance Co. An exposure seam and differing lines to the hip roof indicate that the southern portion of the building is a later addition.
79. Conoco Gas Station (1927) at the intersection of Wyoming and Granite Streets. This was one of the first gas stations in Butte, and has a wooden canopy supported on steel beams on brick piers, with a pressed metal ceiling. The roof turns upwards on the north side, and the east and west ends have jerkin-headed gables. The pumps date from the 1950s.
80. Portion of a one story brick building dating from the 1930s. It has five separate storefronts, stone window sills, and a string course. The Main Street facade (not shown) has a stepped parapet wall.
DETAIL OF THE UPPER STORY OF THE BUTTE FLORAL CO.
SIGN PAINTED ON THE SIDE OF A BUILDING; LUTEY'S WAS ONE OF BUTTE'S MAJOR GROCERS IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY. THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IS VISIBLE IN THE BACKGROUND.
DETAIL OF A COMMERCIAL SIGN PAINTED ON THE SIDE OF A BUILDING.
FRONT FACADE OF THE CURTIS MUSIC HALL
HENNESSY'S DEPARTMENT STORE (130 NORTH MAIN, 1897-1898) IS A STEEL FRAME AND BRICK STRUCTURE DESIGNED BY FREDERICK KEES OF MINNEAPOLIS. IT HAS INLAID MARBLE TILES IN THE HALLS, AND PLATE GLASS WINDOWS FRAMED IN COPPER ON THE FIRST AND SECOND FLOORS. THERE IS ALSO A CAST-IRON AND ORNAMENTAL GLASS LOWER LEVEL AND TERRA-COTTA DETAILING AROUND THE WINDOWS. THE ENTRANCE IS AN ELLIPTICAL ARCH WITH IRON GRILL WORK.
WEST FACADE OF THE BERTOGLIO STORAGE AND APPLIANCE CO. AN EXPOSURE SEAM AND DIFFERING LINES TO THE HIP ROOF INDICATE THAT THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF THE BUILDING IS A LATER ADDITION.
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