The difficult is what takes a little time:
the impossible is what takes a little longer.
— Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian explorer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate

2017 MPA YEAR IN REVIEW!

The News From Our Program Directors

ADVOCACY

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At the outset of 2017, our intrepid Executive Director Chere Jiusto organized supporters and testified at public hearings at the Montana Legislature in support of enhanced funding for our state’s heritage properties. The bill to increase the bed tax to provide funding for the MT Historical Society and grants to historic properties narrowly failed, but there is momentum to bring it back during the next session. In Washington, D.C., Chere and Board Member, Mary Murphy met with our congressional delegation to drive home the importance of funding for landmarks in our National Parks and Monuments. And though we lost the battle to save the beloved Missoula Mercantile and Helena’s Central School despite strong, coordinated advocacy, our fervor to preserve Montana landmarks has not diminished. Ongoing advocacy efforts include the Nixon Bridge, Manhattan; Helena’s Fire Tower; and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building, Whitefish.

 

RESTORATION AND TRAINING

Our tireless architect Dustin Kalanick is celebrating the future of the Broadway Building in Lewistown. After a major site cleanup and stabilization, months of meaningful community outreach, and a complete architectural, engineering, and economic analysis to guide adaptive reuse, the Broadway Building is now for sale! Once the Broadway was buttoned up, Dustin engaged over 100 professionals, students, and volunteers during hands-on workshops to preserve wood and masonry. These trainings have helped complete vital stabilization work at the Wheeler Camp in Glacier National Park, the Placer School near Winston, and the Powell Barn near Cardwell. Also under Dustin’s umbrella, the MPA has served as a preservation, community outreach, funding, and technical consultant on vital downtown heritage projects for the Deer Lodge Hotel; Marlow Market and 7th Avenue Gym, Helena; American Prairie Reserve, Lewistown; Wool Building, Dillon; and Methodist Church, Virginia City. 
 

OUTREACH & EDUCATION

Outreach and Education Director Christine Brown traveled to the Flathead twice this year to plan the next MT Preservation Road Show, to be held June 13-16 in Columbia Falls. The conference promises to be chock-full of intriguing visits to landmarks like the Hungry Horse Dam Powerhouse, the Conrad Cemetery, and historic sites up the North Fork. Also, much work was completed on our new Road Show companion website, the Path Less Traveled: Guide to Montana’s Hidden Heritage, a map-based guide to 100 of Montana’s rural historic landmarks. Christine is also having much fun revisiting historic barns from the book, Hand Raised: The Barns of Montana, while helping Montana PBS and Helena Civic Television produce documentaries on Montana’s historic barns. 

 

DOCUMENTATION

MPA Historian Jim Jenks and Chere Jiusto finished up the Butte, MT: City of Many Nations project in partnerhsip with the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives. The project adds greatly to scholarship on the mining city’s ethnic history. Chere had a whirlwind summer and fall rotating MPA’s Reimagine Montana art exhibit, which featured new work from David Burke, Kit Frost, Lewis Williams, DG House, Ben Block, and Tim Holmes to reimagine five historic Montana places. Chere also completed a National Register nomination for Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, and an interpretive plan for the antique locomotive at The Heritage Museum in Libby. Christine Brown, with help from volunteers Jim Greene and Martha Vogt and intern Madeline Westrom, continued to locate and document schoolhouses for the Big Sky Schoolhouse Survey. They completed survey work in Lewis & Clark, Liberty, and Toole counties, and recruited new volunteers in Glacier and Phillips counties to start work in the fall.