Missoula Labor Temple

Missoula Downtown Historic District

In 1896, a Union Hall was constructed here on property donated by copper magnate Marcus Daly. That building served as local headquarters for unions affiliated with Federal Union Local 83, the precursor of the building trade unions that later organized into separate crafts. When first completed, the facility also housed Missoula’s only theater and hosted the town’s 1896 Democratic Convention. By 1904, fifteen unions were affiliated with the Missoula Trade and Labor Council. These included the Stationary Engineers, Federal Labor Union No. 43, Printers, Carpenters, Woodworkers, Cooks and Waiters, Plumbers, Lumber Workers, Farmers, Barbers, Electricians, Retail Clerks, Painters, and Bricklayers. The original wood-frame union hall burned in 1911, and construction of a new building was not begun until 1916. When the present temple opened in 1917, the second and third floors housed union, lodge, and dance facilities. The ground floor and basement accommodated a Dodge automobile dealership. Though the windows are now infilled with glass blocks and the street level bays remodeled, the upper façade with its metal cornice, pilasters, and decorative capitals reflects the period’s Prairie style of commercial architecture. Owned by the Union Hall Company (in which local unions own stock) since 1908, the temple is Missoula’s only building clearly associated with the growth of the national labor movement.

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208 East Main Street, Missoula, Montana ~ Private