Main Street Historic District

100 blk. W. Main-300 blk. E. Main, Bozeman, Montana


By Tim Evanson -, CC BY-SA 2.0,



Street View 


"Leading wagon trains to the booming gold camps of Bannack and Virginia City, miner-turned-guide John Bozeman recognized the agricultural potential of the Gallatin Valley. At his direction in 1864, William Beall and Daniel Rouse laid out a townsite. The new town of Bozeman soon became a crucial supply center for nearby Fort Ellis and for those heading further west. When designation of Yellowstone Park brought a promise of renown to the region in 1872, Bozeman already boasted a telegraph line, a newspaper, a bank, and a school. The impressive brick Cooper Block dominated Main Street's log and frame buildings. The first major building boom along Main Street occurred when the tracks of the Northern Pacific Railroad reached Bozeman in 1883. Town incorporation soon followed. Two-story brick buildings with pressed metal cornices, huge glass storefronts, and recessed entries characterize this early building phase. A decade later electric street lights, street cars, and the grand Romanesque-inspired Bozeman Hotel urbanized the streetscape. Bozeman prospered as a regional commercial center. After 1900, Main Street expanded to the south and west, acquiring further stylistic diversity. The terra cotta-fronted Fechter Hotel and the Art Deco style Baxter Hotel, both designed by local architect Fred Willson, exemplify this architectural variety and the continued focus on Main Street businesses. Despite earthquake damage in 1925 and brightly lit modern storefronts which draw attention away from some vintage upper stories, Main Street's buildings chronicle Bozeman's emergence as the undisputed economic and cultural center of the rich Gallatin Valley." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 21, 1987
Reference number
Architectural styles
Victorian: Italianate; Victorian: Queen Anne; Victorian: Romanesque
Areas of significance
Commerce; Exploration/Settlement; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1925-1949
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 46
Non-contributing buildings: 22


Bozeman MRA (46)
Bozeman, Montana (66)
Brick (42,466)
District (10,576)
Fred F. Willson (15)
Gallatin County, Montana (134)
Have Street View (48,320)
Italianate (5,117)
Montana (2,299)
Queen Anne (5,136)
Romanesque (2,724)
Stucco (7,816)
Terra cotta (3,922)
Victorian (19,703)

Update Log 

  • November 24, 2021: New Street View added by Bill Eichelberger
  • November 19, 2021: New photo from Bill Eichelberger
  • July 15, 2019: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical information