Filed Under Butte

Stephens Block

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.

Images

Stephens Block, Butte Early view of Stephens Grocery with horse-drawn wagon in front Source: The Montana Standard, Dec. 12, 1948 newspaper article Creator: Montana Standard newspaper Date: ca. 1898
South side of West Park Street, Butte, MT South side of West Park Street looking west with some signs of buildings on the north side of the street visible; Stephens Hotel (lower left) and Lincoln Hotel (upper left). Source: Smithers.30.203.01, Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives, Butte, MT. Creator: C. Owen Smithers, photographer Date: ca. 1900
Stephens Block, Butte, MT View looking east on Park Street, with the intersection at Montana Street in the foreground and busy pedestrian and automobile traffic, as well as a trolley. Prominent buildings include the Stephens Block (Bee Hive Candy Store) at right, Symons Department Store, and the Metals Bank building (top right). Source: C. Owen Smithers Photograph Collection, Smithers.30.022.01, Butte-Silver Bow Archives, Butte, Montana Creator: C. Owen Smithers, photographer Date: 1923
Smithers Block, Butte, MT Parade float on Park Street near Montana, looking west and showing buildings on the south side of the street including the Stephens Block, Tretheway's Music Box, LeSage's, and the Bow Theater. Source: C. Owen Smithers Photograph Collection, Smithers.30.196.01, Butte-Silver Bow Archives, Butte, Montana Creator: C. Owen Smither's, photographer Date: 1958
Smithers Block, Butte, MT PH091.045 Stephens Block, Aetna Finance, 146 West Park Street Source: PH091.003, This collection is a photographic array of uptown building locations prepared as a possible business space and building inventory for the Butte-Silver Bow County Community Development Department. Creator: Community Development Photograph Collection Date: ca. 1970
Stephens Block, Butte, MT View looking southeast at Stephens Block. Source: iPhone 8 image capture Creator: Martha Koh, photographer Date: May 28, 2021
Stephens Block, Butte, MT View looking southwest along West Park Street at facade and faded ghost sign. Source: iPhone 8 image capture Creator: Martha Kohl, photographer Date: May 28, 2021
Stephens Block, Butte, MT Detail view of oriel window Source: Historic American Engineering Record, Creator, Cass Gilbert, H M Patterson, William Owsley, Frederick Kees, F Augustus Heinze, Link & Haire, et al., Lowe, Jet, photographer. Butte Historic District, Bounded by Copper, Arizona, Mercury & Continental Streets, Butte, Silver Bow County, MT. Butte Silver Bow County Montana, 1968. translateds by Hawley, Monica Emitter Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/mt0040/.
West Park Street, Butte, MT View looking east along West Park Street with Stephens Block at right. Source: Historic American Engineering Record, Creator, Cass Gilbert, H M Patterson, William Owsley, Frederick Kees, F Augustus Heinze, Link & Haire, et al., Lowe, Jet, photographer. Butte Historic District, Bounded by Copper, Arizona, Mercury & Continental Streets, Butte, Silver Bow County, MT. Butte Silver Bow County Montana, 1968. translateds by Hawley, Monica Emitter Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/mt0040/.

Documents

NameInfoActions
The Stephens Block, Butte, MTpdf / 5.54 MBDownload

Location

140-146 West Park St., Butte, Montana | public

Metadata

Montana National Register Sign Program, “Stephens Block,” Historic Montana, accessed December 7, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/3028.