Filed Under Hamiliton

City Hall, Hamilton

Hamilton Commercial Historic District

Town halls originated in twelfth-century Italy, where bells were rung to call public assemblies. Missoula architect A. J. Gibson’s city hall design references this history. Allusions to Italy include such Italian Renaissance features as a low-pitched hipped roof, wide eaves, an arch above the front door, and a symmetrical façade. The prominent bell tower, common to American town halls, symbolizes the significance of democratic assembly. The building was designed in 1906 to house city offices, the fire department, and the public library. Originally, two sets of large bay doors, used for horse-drawn fire wagons, flanked the front entrance. Small communities frequently combined city services under one roof, but multiple use was not always ideal. Hamilton library patrons, for example, sometimes complained about the smell of horses. The library moved to a new facility in 1914, and in 1940 Hamilton remodeled the city hall/fire station, adding a truck bay to the building’s south side. While city offices moved to South Second Street in 1990, the fire department continues to operate from its original home.

Images

City Hall
City Hall City Hall (verso unavailable, photo affixed to survey sheet) b&w print Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Unidentified photographer Date: [no date]
City Hall
City Hall City Hall, facing northwest on South Third Street, front/side view of building. Source: MontanaPictures.net Creator: MontanaPictures.net Date: July 2008

Location

119 South 3rd Street, Hamiliton, Montana | Public

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “City Hall, Hamilton,” Historic Montana, accessed July 25, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/1737.