Filed Under Helena

Bluestone House

Helena South-Central Historic District

Legend has it that architect James F. Stranahan built this striking residence of locally quarried blue granite for his bride, Leona, in 1889. Stranahan died, however, leaving the home unfinished. Records do show that Leona briefly owned the property, which subsequently changed hands many times. Its curious location overlooking what was once the heart of Helena’s red-light district has led to much speculation and misidentification. Although some like to tell a different story, records show the building was never anything other than a residence. The 1935 earthquakes caused extensive structural damage, and for several decades the prominent landmark was considered an “attractive ruin.” Finally, the 1970s Urban Renewal Historic Preservation Committee secured funding that made restoration possible. (Each stone was numbered, dismantled, and put back together again.) Massive, blocky masonry contrasts sharply with the decorative tower, oriel window, and copper trim, making the Bluestone House a unique Helena treasure.


Bluestone Building
Bluestone Building Bluestone Building (PAc 91-51 South Central Helena Roll21 F22). Front to side view of the building, facing northwest on South Warren Street. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1981


80 South Warren Street, Helena, Montana | Private


The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Bluestone House,” Historic Montana, accessed July 25, 2024,