Missoula’s first commercial district developed southwest of the Northern Pacific Railroad depot in the 1880s and 1890s. But as the town blossomed, a new central business district began to take shape. The Palace Hotel, constructed at what was then the corner of West Cedar and Stevens (now Broadway and Ryman), became a cornerstone of this new key district. First opened in 1909 as the Savoy Hotel, it is one of the few remaining symbols of the prosperous period between 1900 and 1910, when the expansion of railroad service through Missoula enhanced the growth of lumber and manufacturing industries. Located on the main east-west highway route through Missoula, the hotel was in an excellent location for the growing popularity of auto travel, particularly in the 1930s and 1940s. The original 1909 structure and a 1941 annex form Missoula’s largest single hotel. The earlier five-story portion reflects the vernacular commercial style with Egyptian influence. Open vertical shafts from the roof top to the first floor provided natural lighting for the windowless interior. The six-story annex displays a late art deco character, but the older Egyptian elements blend with the new to produce an impressive and pleasing composite. As time passed, the hotel’s upper floors became an empty, decaying shell. A 1995 rehabilitation project combining the owner’s private investment with federal tax credits for historic preservation and downtown redevelopment funds created 60 upper-floor housing units. The Palace, 1996 recipient of both local and state historic preservation awards, beautifully illustrates how preservation can rejuvenate a city center.