Missoula Downtown Historic District
Poised on the brink of the homesteading boom, Missoula prospered at the turn of the twentieth century with signs of urban growth evident in the hotels and row houses that began to line this busy corridor. Local contractor/architect Eugene Morin purchased this property in 1904 and designed the three-story Lenox Flats to help ease Missoula’s housing shortage. Ideally situated along the town’s busiest thoroughfare, Lenox Flats offered several dozen European style hotel rooms and furnished lodgings. Its completion in 1905 was opportune as the early commercial district shifted from the rail yards at the north end to Missoula’s geographic center. Construction of the Milwaukee Road (1907-1908), local agricultural development, and the popularity of the automobile added to the success of Morin’s Lenox Flats. He and subsequent owners lived around the corner at 317 Woody while tenant proprietors like Amelia Cameron and Mrs. Amanda Hemmick ran the hotel. Its clientele included both transient railroad crews and longtime lodgers. Built in the Western Commercial style, the building reflects the transition from lavish ornamentation of the Victorian era to the simpler designs that characterize the twentieth century. A crenellated roofline and flat-arched windows illustrate restrained decorative elements while diamond-leaded transoms and a carved interior stairway recall nineteenth-century elegance. Although the ground floor now accommodates commercial use, the building continues to fill a need for housing. Through homeWORD’s sensitive rehabilitation of this landmark, the Lenox will continue as an anchor to Missoula’s historic urban streetscape.