Gallatin County Courthouse
Designed by local architecture Fred Willson, the Gallatin County Courthouse in Bozeman is historically significant as a fine example of Art Deco architecture. It is also notable for its association with Works Progress Administration (WPA), which helped build the courthouse. The WPA was one of the federal agencies established in the 1930s to provide jobs during the Great Depression. The courthouse has served as the seat of county government since its construction in 1936.
Backstory and Context
The courthouse features a symmetrical design, a limestone facade, decorative bronze panels, and stone light bases on each side of the courthouse steps. The courthouse replaced the previous one that was 55-years old. Apparently, a group of local businessmen convinced the city to condemn that courthouse so it could be torn down. Wanting to promote the city, the men believed that building a new courthouse was a way to achieve this goal and attract federal funds. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. It has been well preserved and remains an important landmark in Bozeman.
McDonald, James R. et al. "Gallatin County Courthouse." Montana Historical/Architectural Inventory. December 21, 1987. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/87001794_text.
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Looking_NW_at_Gallatin_County_Courthouse_003_-_Bozeman_Montana_-_2013-07-09.jpg