Anaconda Montana Walking Tour
This short walk through this historic Montana mining town includes Anaconda's historic city hall, the Washoe Theater, Hearst Library, St Mark's Episcopal Curch, and the Deer Lodge County Courthouse.
While no longer used for its original purpose, the former Anaconda City Hall building (it also housed a fire station) remains an important landmark in the city. Designed by Butte-based architects Charles Lane and Collins W. Reber, it was built in 1896 and is a beautiful example of eclectic Late Victorian architecture. Its interesting facade consists of a red brick and granite stone exterior; a 90-foot stair tower on the northwest corner with diagonally placed arched windows; an arched entryway on Commercial street with a Moorish "keyhole" arched window above it; and two projecting bays on the west side of the building, one of which features an arched dormer with lancet windows, and the other features arches above large openings once used for fire trucks. Today the building houses the Copper Village Museum & Art Center and the Marcus Daly Historical Museum & Archives.
The Sheehan Boardinghouse, also known as the Empty Arms Boardinghouse, was constructed approximately in 1904 by John Jacobson. Jacobson, the premier residential contractor in Anaconda, Montana between 1900 and 1920, designed the building as a combination coal and wood shop and single-family dwelling for himself. By 1910, however, it had been converted into a boardinghouse. The boardinghouse is significant for its associations with Anaconda’s residential development as one of the many boardinghouses and rooming houses in Anaconda during the 1890s and early 1900s. The building is also important as an example of simple Western Commercial architecture and as a representative example of the work of Anaconda builder and designer John Jacobson. It is one of the few remaining boardinghouses in Anaconda and retains a high degree of integrity, and it is one of the few constructions that is documented and can be directly credited to Jacobson.
The Washoe Theater, located in Anaconda, Montana, was listed on the National Register of Historic Sites in 1982. Built in 1936 as one of the last Art Deco style theaters, this site is a prime example of popular theater style in the 1930s. The architect is so significant, in fact, the Smithsonian Institute has ranked it fifth in the nation for its architectural value. Architect B. Marcus Priteca was responsible for designing the theater. Although it was ready for opening in 1931, the theater remained closed until 1936 due to the Great Depression. Approximately $200,000 was spent building the theater. Perhaps the most impressive part of the theater is the interior, designed by Hollywood designer Nat Smythe. Sources say that every available flat surface is covered in an intricate mural. The first movie shown at the theater was the "The Texas Rangers". Although many changes have taken place throughout the years, the theater remains in operation today. The Washoe is one of the only theaters of its kind remaining in the United States today. Viewing a movie at this historic theater is a unique experience that allows visitors to take a step back in time.
This attractive building is the historic Hearst Free Library, which was built in 1898 and has operated as Anaconda's only public library ever since. It is an significant landmark in city, having served as an important cultural center. Its design also adds to its significance. The library is an exceptional example of Classical architecture, featuring a red-brick exterior, grand entrance with two granite Corinthian columns, arched windows surrounding the first floor, square windows on the second floor, pilasters (decorative elements that resemble columns) with Corinthian capitals, and a copper cornice (the top edge of the exterior walls). A four-sided clock also stands near the northwest corner of the building. The library is named after Pheobe Hearst, the wife of Anaconda Mining Company partner George Hearst, who donated money to build it. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church is a historic church situated at the corner of Main and 6th Streets. Built in 1890, it was designed in the Romanesque Revival style, featuring a buff colored stone exterior, and a square bell tower. St. Mark's is also notable for being the church of Anaconda founder and copper magnate Marcus Daly and his wife, Margaret. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Situated prominently at the southern end of Main Street, the Deer Lodge County Courthouse has served as the seat of county government since its construction in 1900. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 for its architecture and role as a government facility. Architects Charles F. Bell and John N. Kent designed it in the Neoclassical style. Notable features include a buff-colored sandstone exterior, and a large two-tiered domed tower with arched and circular windows, an arched main entrance with Ionic columns, and a large arched window above the entrance with a stone balustrade. The interior features an ornate staircase, decorative detailing, and frescoes and county seals painted on the dome by artists from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.