Filed Under Great Falls

Dubbs Block

Great Falls Central Business Historic District

A shortage of steel and limited purchases of nonessential goods during World War II caused the automobile industry to skyrocket after the war ended. As the troops came home and the economy recovered, Montana experienced this boom as well. By the late 1940s, Great Falls consumers could choose from nearly a dozen makes of automobiles. North Dakotans Edmund and Clara Dubbs, in partnership with Frank P. McGrath, founded McGrath-Dubbs Motors in 1949 and constructed this building at what was one of the premier car sales locations of the time. Leonard Haggarty came to Great Falls in the early 1950s to manage the business, then known as Great Falls Motor, Inc. He purchased the company in 1952 and later changed its name to Haggarty Motors, Inc. The firm sold new Chryslers and Plymouths, used cars, and offered repair services. Three generations of Haggartys managed the business until the late 1990s. Streamline Moderne, a 1930s product of the Art Deco style, influenced the building’s design. The rounded corner, horizontal band of windows on the second story, and wraparound showroom storefront create a streamlined effect.


Dubbs Block
Dubbs Block Dubbs Block (PAc 91-51 Great Falls R24 F17). Front to side view of the building, facing northwest near the corner of 1st Avenue North and 9th Street North. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1983


815 1st Avenue North, Great Falls, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Dubbs Block,” Historic Montana, accessed July 12, 2024,