Swift and Company Building

2605 Minnesota Avenue, Billings, MT

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Swift & Company Building Billings Montana

Photo taken by David Jones in October 2019

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Description 

"Gustavus Swift of Sagamore, Massachusetts, founded a meat-packing company in 1850 that revolutionized the industry. His contributions included assembly-line processing, promotion of the safety of pre-cut and processed meat, and improvement and use of refrigerated railcars, allowing year-round shipment. By the early 1900s, Swift and Company had processing plants and warehouses across the United States. The company built this warehouse in 1916 to store processed meat for distribution to markets and restaurants in the surrounding area. Its key location along the former Northern Pacific Railroad’s right-of-way, just south of the tracks, illustrates the critical link between rail transportation and industry. Its decorative brick façade, twin triangle parapets, and stone-trimmed windows are excellent examples of early-twentieth-century warehouse architecture. Massive timber-and-beam construction, expansive cold storage rooms, and a meat smoking tower at the northwest corner remain intact. Faint ghost signs reading “Swift Silverleaf” and “Swift and Company” recall the building’s original use. Swift operated this warehouse through the 1970s. In 2009, careful and creative adaptive re-use into nine loft apartments preserved the building’s industrial character both inside and out." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque

Update Log 

  • October 8, 2019: New photos from David Jones
  • July 24, 2019: Added by Richard Doody

Sources 

  • Richard Doody
  • David Jones