Butte Historic District
Successful Irish immigrant Frank Stephens built this prominent, Queen Anne style retail and boardinghouse block in 1891. Stephens chose the Park and Montana location because the basement was already dug. He wrote a check for $499 for the “hole in the ground” on May 4, 1889. The building’s richly ornamented corner turret, decorative cast-iron pilasters (flat columns), and soaring plate-glass windows represented the height of fashion. The thirty-two-room Stephen’s Hotel operated as a boardinghouse and apartments for decades. The upper floors remain in near original condition, with few modern improvements made over the last century. In fact, the upper two floors still have only one bath and one water closet (toilet) per floor. The main floor and basement were home to many successful businesses including Lutey’s Grocers, one of the first self-serve grocery stores in Butte. Below the sidewalks, Joseph Richards, the Butte Undertaker, operated one of Butte’s first undertaking businesses until 1908. When Frank Stephens died in 1898, he was laid in state in the hall at the top of the first flight of stairs.
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