Adler Storefronts

Hardin Commercial Historic District

Building contractor Ernest Adler constructed these attached, flat roofed storefronts between 1914 and 1920. A German immigrant, Adler was one of Hardin’s most prolific builders. Situated on the edge of the business district, the one-story brick business block housed a plumbing supply store in the north storefront and a sheet metal warehouse and paint and wallpaper store in the south. A car garage, gas station, and electrical supply house later occupied the building’s southern portion, as did the Hardin Creamery from 1932 to 1950. The building remained a creamery, manufacturing butter and ice cream until 1960, when Bud and Doris Novark opened Bud’s Freezer and Locker Service. Several rear additions (including concrete block apartments) expanded the structure, and the front façade was remodeled in 1984. Nevertheless, elements from the historic period remain. The use of glass block for the transom suggests that Hardin in the 1910s was an up-to-date and forward-looking community. A material originally developed in the early 1900s, glass block was first used in manufacturing plants to brighten up the interior with natural light while providing durability and insulation.

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412 North Custer Avenue, Hardin, Montana ~ Public