Frank Block

Livingston Commercial Historic District

A Jewish immigrant from Poland, tailor Henry Frank first arrived in Montana in 1867. He and his wife Barbara followed the Northern Pacific Railroad to Livingston, where they built the city’s first brick business block in 1883 on East Park. In 1890, Frank purchased a one-story wood-frame building on Main Street, which housed a grocer and a barber. The next year he cleared the lot to build this ornately decorated commercial block, “one of the most handsome and substantial structures in the city.” The façade features decorative brickwork, stone ornamentation, and an elaborate cast-iron cornice manufactured by Mesker Bros. Iron Works in St. Louis. Metal cornices, designed to look like carved stone for a fraction of the cost, were sold through the mail and shipped by rail in eight-foot sections. Advertising himself as the “merchant tailor,” Henry Frank offered men and boy’s clothing—from fine suits to the “heavy substantial clothing required by hunters, miners, [and] cowboys.” Although the building has housed Bob’s Outdoor (formerly Bob’s Army Store) since 1958, ghost signs still advertise Frank’s Clothier and the Levi Strauss overalls it sold.

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114 North Main Street, Livingston, Montana ~ Public