Montana Wants Capitol Complex on National Register

The application seeks National Register status for 24 buildings, sites and structures in the complex

By Dillon Tabish

HELENA — The Montana Historical Society and the state Department of Administration are calling for the state’s Capitol complex to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The application to have the Montana State Capitol Campus Historic District on the Historic Register will get its first review Sept. 19, the Independent Record reports.

Those behind the effort cite the historic architecture of the buildings and say the Capitol complex is a symbol of the state’s progression. The main part of the Capitol building was constructed more than 110 years ago.

The application seeks National Register status for 24 buildings, sites and structures in the complex, including the nearly century-old Livestock Building and the Montana Highway Department building, which dates to 1936.

The state has already obtained National Register listings for the Capitol building, the Montana Veterans & Pioneer Memorial Building that now houses the Montana Historical Society, and the Walt Sullivan Building, which houses the Department of Labor and Industry.

Mark Baumler, the Montana Historical Society’s state historic preservation officer, said the state had been seeking listings for individual buildings but decided it made sense to pursue listing the Capitol complex as a whole.

The application “really tells the history of Montana state government in many ways through the state buildings,” Baumler said.

The State Historical Preservation Review Board will either forward the 163-page application to the National Park Service for a listing on the register or call for revisions to be made.

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