City Hall, Anaconda

Anaconda Commercial Historic District

Copper magnate Marcus Daly had great expectations for Anaconda when the town was platted in 1883, hoping one day the town would become Montana’s capital. It was with that goal in mind that plans for a magnificent city hall were conceived. Architects Lane and Reber of Butte, winners of a competition for the building’s design, drew the blueprints for the symbolically and historically significant civic landmark, completed in 1896. Built in a “straightforward manner … using local materials,” the architects employed pressed brick, Anaconda granite, and Anaconda copper trim. The complex design illustrates the passionate eclecticism of the late Victorian era, incorporating elements of a variety of styles. A massive corner tower, bays, and pavilioned entrance visually define the original separate functions of the building: city government, fire hall, and police department. Contrasts of round and square forms serve to augment these divisions. Classical detailing, Roman and Romanesque style arches, Moorish “keyhole” windows, Gothic tracery, and a Chateauesque style roof capping one of the bays are a visual feast and showcase local craftsmanship. Abandoned in 1976 and slated for demolition, the building was rescued by local citizens in 1978. Though a clock tower housing the fire bell was removed, the rehabilitated City Hall Cultural Center is once again a thriving and impressive source of civic pride.

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401 East Commercial Avenue, Anaconda, Montana ~ Public