Filed Under Helena

Justice Building and Montana State Library

Montana State Capitol Campus Historic District

The 1982 Justice Building and Montana State Library, designed by Page-Werner and Partners of Great Falls, was the last building constructed under the ambitious 1972 Capitol Campus Master Plan. Designed to house the Supreme Court, Attorney General’s office, and the State Library, it is a rare Montana example of the Brutalist style. The style takes its name from the French “béton brut,” or raw concrete, Brutalism’s predominant material. Key elements of Brutalism are reflected here in the monolithic expanses of buff brick, bands of recessed windows, gravity-defying overhangs, and angular towers. Devoid of ornamentation, architects relied on the contrast of solids, voids, and shadows to add interest. Functionally, Brutalism gained favor across the world in the 1960s as an economical answer to much-needed public buildings. Critics, however, denounced the spare, fortress-like style as cold and inhuman. The building was renamed the Mazurek Building in 2014 to honor three-term state senator and former Attorney General Joseph Mazurek. It remains one of Montana’s best examples of Brutalism, a style that did not take hold in the state.

Images

Justice Building and Montana State Library Justice Building and Montana State Library. Front to side/rear view of the building, facing south to southwest on East 6th Avenue. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: Aug. 2019
Justice Building and Montana State Library Justice Building and Montana State Library. Front to side view of the building, facing east to southeast on the corner of East 6th Avenue and North Sanders Street. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: Jan. 2020
Justice Building and Montana State Library Justice Building and Montana State Library. Front view of the building, facing east on North Sanders Street. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: Jan. 2020
Justice Building and Montana State Library Justice Building and Montana State Library. Front view of the building near the entry off of Sanders, facing east on North Sanders Street. Digital photograph. Source: Montana Historical Society Creator: Michael Connolly Date: Jan. 2020

Location

215 North Sanders, Helena, Montana | Public

Metadata

Montana National Register Sign Program, “Justice Building and Montana State Library,” Historic Montana, accessed December 3, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/2724.