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First National Bank - Helena Historic District - Helena, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 46° 35.354 W 112° 02.345
12T E 420400 N 5160043
Quick Description: One of the few Art Deco buildings in the city, the First National Bank arrived on the scene in 1931.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 11/3/2018 7:11:19 PM
Waymark Code: WMZFJQ
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 0

Long Description:
Apparently this Art Deco building is the third to be occupied by the Helena branch of the First National Bank, the second having been built in 1886 and the first, seemingly sometime before the dawn of written history. That 1886 bank building, now known as the Securities Building, still stands less than a block to the south.

The First National Bank was, fittingly, also the FIRST National Bank to set up operations in Helena, soon to be followed by other "National" banks, such as the Montana National Bank, the American National Bank and the Merchants National Bank.

While the NRHP Registration Form states that this is the only Art Deco building in the Helena Historic District, it also lists five other contributing buildings as being Art Deco in design. The bank is a design of the architectural firm of Shanley, Willson and Hugenin, the principals of which were George H. Shanley, of Great Falls, Fred F. Willson, primarily of Bozeman and Roscoe C. Hugenin. Their partnership lasted from 1928 to 1932. Of the three, Willson is known to the writer for his many works in Bozeman.

A primary contributor to the Helena Historic District, the red brick First National Bank is trapezoidal in shape because of the rather haphazard alignment of some downtown streets. Four stories in height, the building's facades are richly decorated with cream coloured terra cotta panels below each window on the upper floors. Above, at the cornice over the angled corner entrance, are two white zig-zag beltlines, also probably of terra cotta.

Unfortunately for the Waymarker, the building remains in use as a bank, now the U.S. Bank.

First National Bank
Institutional modernism was expressed within the district by the Art Deco styling of the First National Bank, the Grand Masonic Lodge (1934) and by the International influences in the Federal Reserve Bank (1938, 1945) and the Hawkins-Lindstrom Medical Clinic (1948).

The first chartered bank in the Montana Territory was also located in downtown Helena, the First National Bank building, erected in 1886, was the second home to that early institution.

First National Bank (Mark Meloy, 1989)
The First National Bank building, by Shanley, Willson and Hugenin, created a strong Art Deco presence on Main Street in 1931. Modernistic influences were strong within Helena's commercial district during the late 1920s and early 1930s. This is the only Art Deco building in the district.

Name			Address		Style		Date	Status
1st National Bank	302-306 NLCG*	Art Deco 	1931	Primary
*NLCG = North Last Chance Gulch (that's a street)
From the NRHP Registration Form

Photo goes Here

Name of Historic District (as listed on the NRHP): Helena Historic District

Link to page with the Historic District: [Web Link]

302-306 North Last Chance Gulch
Helena, MT

How did you determine the building to be a contributing structure?: Narrative found on the internet (Link provided below)

Optional link to narrative or database: [Web Link]

NRHP Historic District Waymark (Optional): Not listed

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