Filed Under Missoula

Swift Building

University Area Historic District

Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad administrators envisioned a bustling warehouse district paralleling its spur line along South Fourth St. East. That district never materialized, but by 1912, the warehouse stood here, kitty-corner to the freight depot. The Swift Co., a national meat processor, occupied the solid brick structure from 1913 into the 1920s. The company shipped freight cars full of meat and meat byproducts (including soap, glue, and fertilizer) from its Chicago processing plants to warehouses like this one across the country. Designed to hold heavy loads, the warehouse relied on massive timbers and rebar-reinforced brick walls to bear the weight of the stored freight. The architectural format is typical masonry construction and exhibits a craftsman's flair in the raised brick accents (quoins) at the corners. Two large front openings (now window bays) once served as loading docks, reflecting the building's original function. After 1927, Blair Transfer and Storage occupied the warehouse into the 1960s.


Swift Building
Swift Building Swift Building. Front to side view of the building, facing east to southeast on South 4th Street East. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1998


315 South 4th Street East, Missoula, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Swift Building,” Historic Montana, accessed April 15, 2024,