Filed Under Great Falls

Great Falls Building and Loan Association (Demolished)

Great Falls Central Business Historic District

Prominent early business leaders founded the Great Falls Building and Loan in 1916 for a dual purpose: to provide loans to aspiring homeowners and to pay regular dividends to shareholders. Unlike banks, building and loans were non-profit corporations partially motivated by the desire to improve Americans’ lives and morals by encouraging thrift and placing homeownership within reach. Fortuitously, accessible mortgages also helped build the community—a central goal of Great Falls’ Progressive-era businessmen. By 1940, the thriving building and loan was ready to construct its own building. Intended “to last a lifetime,” the building featured high quality materials and a cutting-edge Moderne style design that displayed a forward-looking image. Moderne characteristics include its spare, geometric detailing, flat roof, and bold asymmetry. In 1958, the renamed Great Falls Federal Savings and Loan Association expanded into a new building down the street. However, its Moderne monument still promises to provide Great Falls with office space for the intended lifetime—and beyond.

Images

Great Falls Building and Loan Association (Demolished) Great Falls Building and Loan Association (PAc 91-51 Great Falls R34 F34). Front view of the building, facing east to southeast on 5th Street North. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1983

Location

13 5th Street North, Great Falls, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Great Falls Building and Loan Association (Demolished),” Historic Montana, accessed February 8, 2023, https://historicmt.org/items/show/181.