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US Land Office-Warr Building - Lewistown, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 47° 03.941 W 109° 25.519
12T E 619568 N 5213665
Quick Description: One of two Warr Buildings, this, the later of the two, was built in 1904.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 5/5/2019 8:11:29 PM
Waymark Code: WM10GNR
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member ZenPanda
Views: 0

Long Description:
The second of the two Warr buildings built side by side, this one was advertised as once featuring a Beaux Arts style façade containing elaborate terra-cotta ornamentation. What remains appears to be sandstone, much of which surrounds the upper storey windows. A small sandstone cornice runs the full width of the building under those window sills, with two more full width bands of sandstone above the windows and a third at the parapet. Sandstone pilasters run the height of the lower floor with terra cotta panels at their capitals.

Designed by Helena architect John Kent, ex of the firm of Kent & Bell, the building initially housed the United States Land Office on the ground floor, with apartments above. Entrance to the apartments is via a separate door at the southwest corner.

The Victory Barber Shop, which opened here in 1941, remains in the building 78 years later. It shares the ground floor with Comfort Zone, a massage therapy clinic.


A man of vision and foresight, Austin W. Warr contributed to the financial development of early Lewistown. Warr established many of Lewistown’s founding companies, became a key figure in the development of Central Montana, and helped ensure the financial growth of Lewistown. This 1904 richly decorated building originally housed the United States Land Office. The second in a pair of office buildings designed by Helena architect John Kent for A. W. Warr, the U.S. Land Office building features a Beaux Arts style façade containing elaborate terra-cotta ornamentation. The dressed stone and flamboyant flattened arches accentuate the building’s exterior in a visual sign of Lewistown’s growth and development. Many different businesses called the Warr Building home, including the Lewistown State Bank from 1912 to 1913 and the Big Bear Saloon from 1916 to 1918. The Central Meat Market and The Lewistown Meat Company operated out of the building for nearly two decades. The Victory Barber Shop opened in 1941.
From the NRHP plaque at the building
US Land Office-Warr Building
This two story commercial facade is a combination of brick and sandstone and is one of "pair" of matched buildings. Architectural detailing is subtle and includes cast-in-place concrete coping, a dressed stone entablature around second story windows (set in a field of brick), and a projecting rounded string course of dressed stone at the window sill. The window entablature includes dressed stone labels with an interesting flame-cut arch motif incised in the head (very flat) that is supported by dressed stone consoles at window jambs and at pilasters between "pairs" of windows. The windows are wood, rectangular, and double hung with storms over. The basic "field" of the wall to enhance these features is common bond brick. The first floor consists of cut stone pilasters at each side of the facade with contemporary materials used as the storefront between. Embossed aluminum occupies the transom area above the display glazing which is set in wood frames and has a 1/3 running bond masonry wainscot below. Two cast iron square accents can be seen above each of the flanking stone pilasters. The back and sides of this structure are rubble stone.

Built in 1904, the building illustrates the stone building tradition that characterizes the early structures of Lewistown.

English born John H. Kent, formerly of the Kent and Bell firm of Helena, designed the Warr Building. Kent, one of the designers of the State Capitol in Helena, also designed the Bank of Fergus Co. in Lewistown.

Austin W. Warr organized the Lewistown Telephone Co. in 1899 with Frank E. Wright and T. Jefferson Wier, and served as manager. In 1887, he was an organizer and cashier of the first bank in Lewistown, the Bank of Fergus County. In 1892, he joined with N.M. Erickson and George J. Wiedeman to form the Montana Hardware Co. A showpiece structure in the 300 block of Main Street, built by the Lewistown Commercial Co., bears his name.
From the NRHP Nomination Form, Site 143

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