Filed Under Helena

Executive Mansion

Montana State Capitol Campus Historic District

Since its completion in 1959, the Executive Residence has not only served as home for Montana’s first families, but also played an important part in the functioning of state government. It is the second such structure to fill that role. Initially, Montana’s governors were left to secure their own housing. Then, in 1913, the state purchased a Queen Anne style mansion, built in 1888, to house Montana’s chief executives. By the early 1950s that stately dwelling “had lost much of its luster” and maintenance costs were becoming problematic. Consequently, in 1953, Billings architect Chandler C. Cohagen produced a design that featured extensive use of glass, native building materials, and an open floor plan suitable for state functions. Funding issues delayed the home’s construction for six years and forced alterations to the original design. Throughout the construction process, the project remained controversial because of its cost as well as its “modern… but not modernistic” design. When completed, many Montanans remained critical of its contemporary aesthetic. Others, however, praised it for having the “dignity and elegance befitting Montana’s chief executive.”

Images

Executive Mansion
Executive Mansion Executive Mansion. Front to side view of the house, facing south to southwest from the front lawn near the intersection of Carson Street and Lockey Avenue. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 2006
Executive Mansion
Executive Mansion Executive Mansion. Front view of the house, facing west to southwest on Carson Street. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 2006
Executive Mansion
Executive Mansion Executive Mansion. Front view of the house, facing west on Carson Street. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office. Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 2006
Executive Mansion
Executive Mansion Executive Mansion. Front to side view of the house, facing west to northwest on Carson Street. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 2006
Executive Mansion
Executive Mansion Executive Mansion. Side to front view of the house, facing northwest to north near the corner of Carson Street and Broadway Street. Digital photograph. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 2006

Location

2 North Carson Street, Helena, Montana | Public

Metadata

Montana National Register Sign Program, “Executive Mansion,” Historic Montana, accessed April 14, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/2720.