Filed Under Butte

Iona Cafe

Butte National Historic Landmark District

The Gagnon Realty Company constructed a single-story building on this site in 1914, adding the second floor before 1916. Mosaic tiles at the entrance proclaim the business of its early tenant, baker Joseph Boulet, who moved his Iona Cafe and Baking Company here from Park Street in 1915. In 1917, the Iona became the State Cafe, and so it remained through the 1960s. An ornate metal cornice, decorative brickwork, transomed windows, and a sign for "Flor de Baltimore" painted on the north wall recall another era. Underneath the building is an excellent example of the subterranean passageways that crisscross the city. These passageways delivered steam heat to downtown businesses. Local tradition has it that Butte's Chinese population used these passageways before the turn of the twentieth century and later, that they served as a delivery system during Prohibition.

Images

Iona Cafe Iona Cafe (PAc 91-51 B1 RollCBD11 F14). Front to side view of the building, facing east to southeast on South Main Street near the alley in the middle of the block. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1985
Iona/State Cafe, Butte, MT View of front door Source: HAER MONT,47-BUT,1--26, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print Creator: Jet Lowe, photographer Date: 1979

Location

16 South Main Street, Butte, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Iona Cafe,” Historic Montana, accessed December 1, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/1980.