Montana State Capitol Building

Central Ave. and Main St., Helena, Montana



Photo taken by Parkerdr

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

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Street Views 


"The gentle rise overlooking the Helena Valley enhances the stately character of the "People’s House." It is Montana’s grandest public space and a stunning example of high style public architecture. Iowa architects Charles Bell and John Kent designed the center portion in the Neoclassical style to reflect the “American Renaissance” of the late nineteenth century. The state had few financial resources, so mining magnate Thomas Cruse bought all the bonds that financed its construction. Completed in 1902, the Capitol embodies the optimism, financial reality, and political climate of the time. The soaring Rotunda, beneath the copper-clad dome and figure “Montana,” sculpted by Pennsylvania artist Edward VanLandeghem, serves as the real and symbolic axis of government. Montana architects John Link and Charles Haire designed the wings, added in 1909. Classical elements carry through the interior, but the artistic expression speaks distinctly to Montana. A kaleidoscope of details and stained and art glass set the stage for a theatrical “history pageant.” Exquisite paintings by Montana artists Charles Russell, Ralph DeCamp, and Edgar S. Paxson visually dramatize Montana’s colorful past." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on February 17, 1981
Reference number
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Classical Revival
Areas of significance
Politics/Government; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1925-1949
Significant years
1899; 1902; 1909
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 3
Non-contributing buildings: 1

Update Log 

  • July 15, 2019: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical information
  • May 28, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • March 8, 2016: Updated by Michael Miller: Corrected "GPS Coordinates", Added "Street View" and Imported Photo

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