Filed Under Butte

Richmond Apartments

Butte National Historic Landmark District

As World War I raged in Europe, Butte boomed, its economy buoyed by the high price of copper. Among its many other uses, copper was an essential ingredient in brass, which was used to make shell casings. To house Butte's growing population, real estate developers invested in apartment buildings, a relatively new urban trend. Because landlords did not typically monitor their tenants' behavior, apartments were originally considered morally suspect. By the twentieth century, however, middle-class men and women increasingly chose the privacy and convenience of apartments over more traditional boardinghouses or residential hotels. The 1910s saw construction of several Butte apartment buildings, including the Richmond. Norwegian-born builder Albert Broadland constructed the ten-unit, brick apartment house in 1916. An important Butte contractor, Broadland also built the Finlen Hotel. Florist Sylvester Hansen commissioned the building, which features clean lines, a symmetrical façade, a pronounced cornice, and massive two-story columns—all characteristics of Neoclassical design. Typical apartment dwellers were childless but the Richmond attracted families. Tenants in 1920 included the families of an electrical engineer, a mining engineer, a wholesale produce merchant, a laundry manager, and a bakery owner.

Images

Richmond Apartments facade Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Martha Kohl and Julian Boughton Date: August 2022
Richmond Apartments Richmond Apartments (PAc 91-51 B1 Roll09 F23). Front to side view of the building, facing east to northeast from the alley near North Clark Street. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: Sept. 1981
Richmond Apartments Richmond Apartments (PAc 91-51 B1 Roll09 F24). Front to side view of the building, facing southeast from the corner of North Clark Street and West Broadway Street. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: Sept. 1981

Location

10 North Clark Street, Butte, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Richmond Apartments,” Historic Montana, accessed December 5, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/1899.