402-412 West Mercury
Butte National Historic Landmark District
Apartments played an integral part in Butte’s residential history as an alternative to the single family home. Housing was scarce in this crowded urban industrial center at the turn of the century. Apartment living offered more privacy and convenience than boarding houses, although some social critics viewed them as a detriment to the American family. At least in a boarding house, they argued, meals were prepared at regular intervals and on time. While some nineteenth-century boarding houses and dwellings were converted into single-family units, newly built, “modern” apartment buildings filled in neighborhood gaps. Butte contractor Hermads Godin built this exceptional porch-fronted flat as an investment for Virginia Girard in 1907. At a cost of about $10,000, the multi-family dwelling offered seven separate units. In 1910, residents included a physician, newspaper editor, saloonkeeper, and photographer, all family men with one or two small children. The seven apartments remain intact today and then, as now, two transomed entries and interior stairways access the upper floor.