When the University of Montana was begun at the turn of the twentieth century, this portion of Missoula quickly developed with single-family, upper middle-class dwellings. About 1909, Charles E. Johnson built the University Apartments (then Johnson Flats) as one of the area’s first multi-family housing units, and it appears today almost as it did upon completion. Its architect was Albert J. Gibson, then Missoula’s most prominent, who also designed the Greenough Mansion, County High School (Hellgate), St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula County Courthouse, and several university buildings. This structure is one of Gibson’s finest apartment designs in the city, with neoclassical detailing in the cornice, windows, and entrance adding to its importance. The Ohio-born architect was not formally trained, but apprenticed with H. M. Patterson in Butte before moving to Missoula in 1887. Built for white-collar families, the building reflects Missoula’s new affluence when the lumber industry and agriculture boomed, and the university brought new jobs. During the 1920s and 1930s, University Apartments was home to several university professors.