Filed Under Helena

537 South Rodney

Helena South-Central Historic District

Machinist Frank Hanry and his wife Mary are this well-preserved home’s first known owners. Built circa 1891, the house initially shared its lot with a log cabin and a chicken coop. The brick residence features a Mansard roof with two prominent front dormers. Nearly perpendicular, Mansard roofs transformed cramped attics into usable space and are hallmarks of the Second Empire style. Associated with France during the reign of Napoleon III, Second Empire architecture was considered old fashioned by the time this home was built—even on the mining frontier. Thus, the builder added references to the more modern Queen Anne style. Curved braces with turned spindles support the roof of a front octagonal bay, wooden ornaments accent the window heads, and a sun motif decorates the dormer peaks. The main part of the house is one-and-one-half stories. However, the kitchen is under a separate, one-story roof, a common plan in the 1800s. Placing the kitchen under separate roof minimized fire risk. Bucket brigades could more easily reach a one-story roof, perhaps saving the rest of the house in case of a kitchen fire.

Images

537 South Rodney
537 South Rodney 537 South Rodney (PAc 91-51 South Central Helena Roll13 F33). Front view of the house, facing east to southeast on South Rodney Street near Rodney Court. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photograph unidentified Date: 1981

Location

537 South Rodney Street, Helena, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “537 South Rodney,” Historic Montana, accessed July 12, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/2208.