Filed Under Missoula

Keim Building

Northside Missoula Railroad Historic District

Arrival of the Northern Pacific in 1883 brought sweeping changes, and this elaborate 1891 business block is a grand illustration. The railroad prompted major building booms and made architectural pieces and parts readily accessible. Levi Keim, an early-day farmer and stage stop operator, worked as a Northside policeman when he built this commercial building as an investment. Originally a drug store was at street level and apartments were upstairs. Its varied tenants included the Northwest Steam Laundry in 1909 and A. W. Allen’s grocery in 1913. Keim spared no expense on the project. Romanesque arches with granite sills, a unique central gable above the roof, elegant brickwork, and a pressed metal cornice make the building a stellar example of Victorian-era commercial architecture. The mail-order cornice and plate glass windows arrived via the Northern Pacific. The availability of large commercial windows like these revolutionized advertising, offering merchants better opportunities to display their goods. Economic depression in 1893 ended construction projects and the period of flamboyant commercial architecture passed. The beautifully restored Keim Building is one of Missoula’s few surviving examples.

Images

Keim Building
Keim Building Keim Building (PAc 91-51 Northside Missoula R0132 F32). Front to side view of the building, facing north on North 1st Street West. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Allan Matthews Date: Mar. 1994
Keim Building
Keim Building Keim Building (PAc 91-51 Northside Missoula R0132 F33). Front to side view of the building, facing north on North 1st Street West. Close view of the architecture on the upper half of the building. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Allan Matthews Date: Mar. 1994
Keim Building
Keim Building Keim Building (PAc 91-51 Northside Missoula R0132 F34). Front view of the building, facing north from the top of the building across the street on North 1st Street West. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Allan Matthews Date: Mar. 1994
Keim Building
Keim Building Keim Building (PAc 91-51 Northside Missoula R0132 F35). Front to side view of the building, facing northeast on North 1st Street West. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Allan Matthews Date: Mar. 1994
Keim Building
Keim Building Keim Building (PAc 91-51 Northside Missoula R0132 F36). Front to side view of the building, facing northeast on North 1st Street West. Close view of the upper half of the building. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Allan Matthews Date: Mar. 1994
Keim Building, Missoula, MT
Keim Building, Missoula, MT View of facade Creator: Joe Furshong, photographer Date: May 2021
Keim Building, Missoula, MT
Keim Building, Missoula, MT View of facade Creator: Joe Furshong, photographer Date: May 2021

Location

314 North 1st Street West, Missoula, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Keim Building,” Historic Montana, accessed June 18, 2024, https://historicmt.org/items/show/954.