Slater Block

Lewistown Central Business Historic District

Slater brothers William, John, and Henry sold their business, the Palace Meat Co., in 1913. With capital from the sale and an abundance of faith in their steadily growing community, they built this three-story commercial block. The local architectural firm of Wasmansdorff and Eastman designed the imposing structure, constructed for approximately $50,000 (around $1 million at today’s prices). Less ornate than some of its neighbors, the building relies on the use of two-color brick and its terra-cotta cornice and frieze for ornamentation. The upper stories housed the Waldorf Hotel. First-floor businesses included the Myrtle Theatre, later renamed the Broadway Theatre. Theaters in communities on the main railroad lines frequently hosted famous entertainers on their way to the coast; top stars rarely came to Lewistown since it was on a spur line. Nonetheless, in addition to showing motion pictures, the Myrtle offered four Vaudeville acts each week. A Chicago management company provided the entertainers, who included acrobats, singers, and dancers as well as actors and comedians. Adult admission was only twenty-five cents (worth approximately $4.50 today), ten cents for children.

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409-411 West Main Street, Lewistown, Montana ~ Private