Fred T. Sterling House

Prominent businessman Frederick Sterling and his wife Lucina, daughter of one of Missoula founders Frank Worden, commissioned architect Albert J. Gibson to design this splendid Arts and Crafts style residence, built in 1912. The home reflects a stylistic shift in Gibson’s much-celebrated work from classicism (as demonstrated in his design of the Missoula County Courthouse) to the popular Arts and Crafts and Prairie School movements. Gabled dormers with shallow roofs, exposed rafter ends, a half-timbered and stuccoed second floor, and massive corbelled chimneys characterize the style, here quite elegantly expressed. Rich appointments include leaded and stained glass, mahogany doors and banisters, a billiard room fireplace of lava rock trimmed in brass, and silver plated doorknobs and window lifts. Between 1883 and 1906 the well-respected Sterling worked his way from clerk to vice president of the Missoula Mercantile Company. The influential businessman was part-owner and president of the Western Montana National Bank from 1918 until his death in 1934. For these and other interests, Sterling has been called a “silent partner” in the molding of Montana’s early business affairs. This beautiful and well-maintained residence is today a lasting tribute to both architect and owner, each of whom contributed to the growth of this city on the Western frontier.

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1310 Gerald Avenue, Missoula, Montana ~ Private