A quick look at one of downtown Bozeman’s historic buildings and then we are off to Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Looking north at the main entrance of the Bozeman Hotel (321 E. Main), in Bozeman, Montana. The Bozeman Hotel was built in 1890 as part of the city’s attempt to become the state capital. Local citizens raised $20,000, and bankers from Boston, Massachusetts, (who’d bought land in the area) contributed another $100,000 to have the hotel built. Architect George Hancock designed the 136-room hotel in a Romanesque Revival vernacular style.
The hotel built its own electric generating plant to supply it with power. The lobby had an ornate, pressed-tin ceiling and was brilliantly lit. It had a large public reading room, a dining room that sat 150, a bar featuring dark stained wood, a barber shop, and a luxurious women’s parlor on the second floor that was accessed by a highly-decorated iron staircase. Guests accessed the upper floors via a carved, curving wooden staircase. Iron columns supported the upper floors, and were decorated in the then-emerging Beaux-Arts style.
In 1974 new owners turned it from a hotel to an office building, retail space, and condos. Most of the lobby was eliminated, but a small portion — including the carved stair, part of the lobby ceiling, and some of the iron columns — was retained.
The Bozeman Hotel is a contributing property to the Main Street Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 21, 1987.
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