Hill County Courthouse

Havre Residential Historic District

A major fire that destroyed ninety percent of Havre’s business district in 1904 also sparked the town’s transformation from a frontier community to a Progressive-era town. Rebuilding Havre coincided with a nationwide reform movement that promoted civic beauty as a vehicle for social and economic equality. The City Beautiful effort adopted the new French Beaux Arts style of architecture, which prescribed monumental public buildings with modernized Classical details. Havre’s embrace of the movement began in earnest in 1907 and culminated in 1912 when Hill County was created with Havre as its county seat. Citizens voted to fund a bond issue to build a courthouse in 1914, and the new $150,000 building—designed by prominent local architect Frank Buossot—was completed in 1916. Significant structural elements include the building’s steel-skeleton frame and glossy, white-glazed, terra-cotta tile cladding. Refined Classical ornaments, such as the four massive Corinthian columns, ornate entablature above the grand central entrance, third-floor medallions, and acroterium decorations at the roofline, recall ancient civic buildings. The Hill County Courthouse remains one of Montana’s most exuberant examples of Beaux Arts-style architecture.

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315 4th St., Havre, MT ~ public