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Titans of Industry

With the generous support of the JM Kaplan fund, MPA has the great pleasure to grant a total of $65,000 to industrial architecture preservation projects in Montana for 2010.  We received many very strong applications requesting a total of $190,000.  After careful and sometimes agonizing deliberation, four projects rose to the top, representing some of the most iconic structures on the landscape.

The Silos, Broadwater County
The orange brick A.B. Cook silos rise above the west side of Canyon Ferry Lake, and stand as a landmark in Broadwater County.  Constructed in 1920 as part of the notorious businessman’s sheep operation, the pair represents the last standing structures of that expansive enterprise.  Many of the beautiful tile bricks manufactured by Helena’s Western Clay Manufacturing Company have begun to fail, and this project intends to arrest and repair the deterioration.  The property owner, together with the Broadwater County Development Corporation, masonry specialists, and local volunteers will use $15,000 from the MPA Industrial Grants fund to work together and ensure these monuments to agricultural industry stand for many years to come.

Archie Bray Foundation Beehive Kilns, Helena
Western Clay Manufacturing Company’s impact on Montana’s built environment cannot be understated.  Its specialty bricks line city streets and sidewalks, and comprise residences, and civic buildings, as well as industrial and agricultural structures.  The bricks were fired in beehive kilns that are an integral part of what is now the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts’ campus.  Time and weather have taken their toll on these significant structures, and a $5,000 industrial grant will help stabilize one of them, through a hands-on repair workshop.

Ceretana Grain Elevator Complex, Missoula
Adjacent to the Northern Pacific spur line on the western edge of Missoula’s historic downtown stands the massive Ceretana grain elevator complex.  Once an important milling, storage, and transportation center for local farmers, the warehouses and elevator now are home to an artists’ cooperative.  However, safety concerns threaten its occupation.  Owner Bear Stauss is working closely with local preservation officer Philip Maechling, the fire marshal, historic architects and engineers, and the tenants to ensure that the building continues to be a vital part of the community.  To this end, MPA is pleased to grant $20,000 toward structural repair and life safety measures.

Green Meadow Ranch, Helena
The Green Meadow Ranch has been an intrinsic part of the history of the Helena region since the beginning of the twentieth century. Through its incarnations as Yellowstone Park Company President and founder Harry W. Child’s ranch and later as Harrer and Sons renowned angus stock ranch, the architecture and operations there have played an integral role in the cultural landscape of the area. The oldest buildings at the ranch date to 1915, when Child had Robert Reamer, architect of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Inn, design his residence, barn, granary, blacksmith shop, and ice house.  Sadly, the barn and residence were lost to fire, and the ice house has experienced some insensitive rehabilitation.  The granary and blacksmith shop still stand, but their roofs are in great need of repair to prevent structural failure.  MPA assisted the owner, Joan Drennon, and the Lewis and Clark County Historical Society with their successful HB 645 Preservation Grant application, which allocated over $98,000 to fix the granary roof.  This MPA/Kaplan grant will contribute $25,000 to ensure that the blacksmith shop, too, will be repaired.

In addition, Kaplan granted an additional $5,000 to MPA toward roof and foundation work at the St. Wenceslas Church in Danvers.  Czech settlers built the church in 1916, and while Danvers has lost population, many of the original families remain in the vicinity. Last year, MPA joined the community, the parish and the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings in their effort to save the church and revitalize the community. This project is a direct result, an attempt to help people to save their heritage, renew their town and create a hopeful model for others. 



MPA • 120 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT 59601 • (406) 457-2822


Grant Recipients

Original Mineyard
Hoist House

MPA/Kaplan contribution:
Local contribution:
Total project cost: $83,000

Gilbert Brewery

MPA/Kaplan contribution:
Local Contribution:
Total project cost:  $121,850

Red Lodge
Brewery/ Cannery

MPA/Kaplan contribution:
Local contribution:
Total project cost:  $68,819

Partners in the Field

Kaplan contribution:

National Trust for Historic Preservation contribution