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Helena

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Old Governors Mansion, 304 North Ewing Street, Helena, Lewis and Clark County, MT



B&W Photos

HB743487

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Data Pages


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title


Location
304 North Ewing Street, Helena, MT

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Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS MT-31
Building/structure dates: 1884 initial construction
Significance: The handsome pressed brick, terra cotta and stone Victorian mansion was designed by Cass Gilbert, whose office was then in St. Paul, Minnesota, for the William A. Chessman family in 1884. It was completed the following year at a cost of $85,000. It stands today as one of those structures built in the "Victorian era of Montana's fabulous sow-belly and beans to oysters and caviar transition period." In 1913 the State of Montana purchased the building for use as a Governor's Mansion. Here the chief executive of the state lived and entertained from the governorship of Sam V. Stewart in 1913 until that of J. Hugo Aronson in 1959, when a newer and far less elegant mansion was erected several blocks east of the Capitol building. The Old Governors Mansion's fate was in jeopardy for a few years after the building of the new structure, but historians and interested citizens rallied to save the building. It was used for headquarters for the State Centennial Commission from 1963-65, and now houses the state office of Planning and Economic Development.

Subjects
Governors
Brick Buildings
Mansions


Related Names
Chessman, William A.
Gilbert, Cass
Kent, J. H.
Fisk, E. W.
DeHaas, John N., Historian
Silverman, Eleni, Historian


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. Photocopy of photograph (Original in collection of Historical Society of Montana) EARLY PHOTOGRAPH (PRIOR TO 1936) SHOWING MAIN AND SIDE ELEVATIONS. THE LARGE CHIMNEYS WERE REMOVED AFTER THE 1935 EARTHQUAKE
2. Photocopy of photograph (Original in collection of the Historical Society of Montana) FIRST FLOOR ROOMS


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