Crane Company Building

Billings Old Town Historic District

Warehouses are known for their solid construction, and the Crane Co. warehouse, built of brick with heavy timber frame support and a concrete foundation, is no exception. The plumbing supply firm of Crane and Ordway already had warehouses in Great Falls and Butte when it built this massive facility for its Billings branch in 1920. The functional building features a daylight basement and a tower-like single-bay projection on the southeast corner. Its construction signaled Billings’ growing importance as a regional trade center. Crane and Ordway supplied retailers and builders with pipes, valves, water heaters, radiators, and approximately 20,000 other heating and plumbing products, including windmills. As Fortune Magazine noted in 1936, “You can’t run a railroad or build a dam, operate a paper mill or lay a sewer, dig an oil well or heat a hospital, or launch a battleship or even take a shower without using … products that are made by Crane Co.” The wholesale firm occupied the building until late 1970s. Left vacant for many years, the building underwent rehabilitation and renovation in 2004.   



24 South 30th Street, Billings, Montana ~ Private