Missoula Southside Historic District
This colorful district charts Missoula's transformation from rough frontier town to established community. When the Northern Pacific Railroad chose Missoula as its division headquarters in the 1880s, the burst of activity brought investors, wealthy businessmen, and broadened horizons. Anticipating a need to escape the flurry and bustle of the town's center, Federal Judge Hiram Knowles platted this addition in 1889. By the mid 1890s, gracious Queen Anne style residences proclaimed the southside a wealthy haven with horse-drawn streetcars carrying residents across the newly widened Higgins Avenue Bridge. Influenced greatly by prominent Missoula architect A. J. Gibson, who made his home in this district, Revival styles appeared, merging asymmetrical Queen Anne with the classical symmetry of Colonial Revival. Neighborhood businesses and services brought another dimension to the district. Between 1908 and 1910, the arrival of the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad on the southside's edge added a depot and hotel. Row house apartments and smaller residences were built to accommodate a variety of professionals, entrepreneurs, and laborers. Today, the Southside District well reflects its history, mixing small businesses and Craftsman/Bungalow and vernacular style homes with the larger Queen Anne and Revival styles that recall its former exclusivity.