Montana Veterans and Pioneers Memoiral Building

Also known as: Montana Historical Society
225 North Roberts, Helena, Montana


File:Veterans and Pioneers Memorial Building (2012) - Lewis and Clark County, Montana.png

Photo taken by Robstutz

License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)

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Street View 


"The desire to memorialize the contributions of Montana pioneers and veterans and the need for a state museum converged in 1941. That year, veterans groups, the Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers, and the Montana Pioneers joined together to promote construction of this building. The Sons and Daughters of Montana Pioneers purchased the site, and veterans groups contributed $48,000 toward the project. Together they lobbied the legislature to earmark money for a combined memorial, museum, and historical library. World War II delayed the project, but after the war, Governor John Bonner pushed through an additional $350,000 appropriation for the building. The groups held an architectural competition, and several Montana firms submitted plans. When the veterans and pioneers voted on the designs by secret ballot at separate conventions, the design of Great Falls architect Angus McIver emerged as the clear winner. The plan featured the sleek lines and balanced asymmetry that characterizes modern architecture at its best. Actually two separate buildings, the striking bronze-trimmed entrance creates a seamless connection between the one-story, windowless museum decorated on the exterior with tile, and the three-story building to the north, whose horizontal ribbons of windows provide the primary ornamentation. After several delays, the building was finally completed in 1953 at a cost of $638,000. The Montana Historical Society soon filled the galleries with exhibits, including a permanent display of Charles M. Russell paintings and sculpture. The state funded building additions in 1970 and 1986 to accommodate the Society’s growing staff and collections." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 15, 2004
Reference number
Architectural style
Modern Movement
Areas of significance
Architecture; Art; Education; Entertainment/Recreation
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Museum; Research facility; Government office
Current functions
Museum; Research facility; Government office
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • July 15, 2019: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical information
  • March 8, 2016: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Street View" and Imported Photo

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