Board of Health Building
Montana State Capitol Campus Historic District
Established by the state legislature in 1901, Montana’s Board of Health was originally housed in two small offices in the capitol building. As the state devoted more attention to public health during the Progressive Era, the Board’s responsibilities grew, as did its need for space. The prominent Helena firm of Link & Haire (which was also responsible for the capitol’s wings) designed this new home for the Board. Completed in 1920, the three-story building features a restrained revivalist style that combines elements of Italian Renaissance Revival and Neoclassical Revival. Ornamentation includes granite coping and window sills, terra-cotta detailing, and decorative brickwork. A projecting vestibule with a rounded fanlight and trapezoidal-shaped parapet marks the building’s entrance. The Board oversaw many programs, including communicable diseases, water quality, food and drug safety, social and industrial hygiene, child welfare, public nursing, and health education. To facilitate its work, the third floor contained “a first-class up-to-date hygienic laboratory,” in use until 1955. With the creation of the State Department of Health in 1967, the Board lost many of its day-to-day responsibilities and was terminated in 1994.