Filed Under Billings

Swift and Company Building

Billings Old Town Historic District

Gustavus Swift of Sagamore, Massachusetts, founded a meat-packing company in 1850 that revolutionized the industry. His contributions included assembly-line processing, promotion of the safety of pre-cut and processed meat, and improvement and use of refrigerated railcars, allowing year-round shipment. By the early 1900s, Swift and Company had processing plants and warehouses across the United States. The company built this warehouse in 1916 to store processed meat for distribution to markets and restaurants in the surrounding area. Its key location along the former Northern Pacific Railroad’s right-of-way, just south of the tracks, illustrates the critical link between rail transportation and industry. Its decorative brick façade, twin triangle parapets, and stone-trimmed windows are excellent examples of early-twentieth-century warehouse architecture. Massive timber-and-beam construction, expansive cold storage rooms, and a meat smoking tower at the northwest corner remain intact. Faint ghost signs reading “Swift Silverleaf” and “Swift and Company” recall the building’s original use. Swift operated this warehouse through the 1970s. In 2009, careful and creative adaptive re-use into nine loft apartments preserved the building’s industrial character both inside and out.

Images

 Swift and Company Building, front
Swift and Company Building, front Property Address: 2605 Minnesota Avenue Historic Name: Swift and Company Building Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Unidentified photographer Date: 07/12/2009
 Swift and Company Building, rear
Swift and Company Building, rear Property Address: 2605 Minnesota Avenue Historic Name: Swift and Company Building Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana Creator: Unidentified photographer Date: 12/21/2009

Location

2605 Minnesota Avenue, Billings, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Swift and Company Building,” Historic Montana, accessed July 25, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/2146.