Filed Under Helena

Mitchell Building

Montana State Capitol Campus Historic District

Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, state government grew to meet the increasing demands of Montana’s citizenry. In 1945—following a hiatus wrought by the Great Depression and World War II—the legislature established a Montana Postwar Planning and Construction Commission to address long-delayed building needs statewide. Among the resulting structures was this “State Office Building,” designed by Helena architect Vincent H. Walsh. Walsh chose the Stripped Classical style to mirror the lines of the capitol while reflecting a more modern aesthetic. It features smooth, stucco-covered concrete walls, windows arranged in recessed vertical panels, and a formal, bronze entrance. Completed in 1950, the building was named in honor of Sam W. Mitchell (1872–1955) who served as Montana’s Secretary of State from 1933 to 1955. Two decades later, state government once again required more room, including space for a computer center now necessitated by technological advancements. Consequently, the Helena firm of Crossman, Whitney & Griffin designed an addition. Attached to the east side of the building, the “modern box” office features the extensive use of exposed concrete, a stylistic element borrowed from the Brutalist movement.

Images

Mitchell Building
Mitchell Building Mitchell Building. Close view of the front entry to the building, facing east to southeast on North Roberts Street. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 2006
Mitchell Building
Mitchell Building Mitchell Building. Front view of the building, facing east to southeast on North Roberts Street. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 2006
Mitchell Building
Mitchell Building Mitchell Building. Front to side view of the building, facing east to northeast at the intersection of North Roberts Street and Lockey Avenue. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 2006
Mitchell Building
Mitchell Building Mitchell Building. Front to side view of the building (south), facing east on the corner of North Roberts Street and Lockey Avenue. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 2006
Mitchell Building
Mitchell Building Mitchell Building. Front to side view of the building addition, facing west to southwest near the intersection of 5th Avenue and North Sanders Street. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 2006
Mitchell Building
Mitchell Building Mitchell Building. Front view of the building addition, facing west from the employee parking lot near North Sanders Street. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 2006
Mitchell Building
Mitchell Building Mitchell Building. Side view of the building addition, facing north on Lockey Avenue. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 2006

Location

125 North Roberts Street, Helena, Montana | Public

Metadata

Montana National Register Sign Program, “Mitchell Building,” Historic Montana, accessed July 12, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/2716.