By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies as provided in our policy.

Placer Hotel - Helena, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 46° 35.245 W 112° 02.347
12T E 420394 N 5159840
Quick Description: At one time the largest and grandest hotel between Minneapolis-St. Paul and the Coast, though it still stands,the Placer Hotel is no longer a hotel, but condominiums.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 11/10/2018 7:18:53 PM
Waymark Code: WMZGV8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member ZenPanda
Views: 0

Long Description:
The Placer Hotel (aka "Hotel Placer"), on the southeast corner of Last Chance Gulch and Grand Street, held its grand opening on April 12, 1913 For many years Helena's finest hotel, the Placer has now been converted to condominiums. A primary contributor to the Helena Historic District, the building was designed by George H. Carsley in association with Cass Gilbert.

Street No.
Original Owner
Original Use
Present Owner
Present Use
Wall Construction
No. of Stories
15-27 No. Last Chance Gulch
Helena Hotel Co.
Hotel
Helena Hotel Co.
Condominiums
Reinforced Concrete 7

Name
Date or Period
Style
Architect
Builder
Placer Hotel
1913
Not identifiable as such
George H. Carsley & Cass Gilbert


This is of a much later period than the Richardsonian architecture of the 1880s There is some resemblance to the later work of Louis Sullivan such as the Wainwright Building in St. Louis, which is considered an outstanding example of architecture that is not of an identified style. Decorative frieze and spandrel work is not characteristic of Sullivan, but seems to be of various classic origin like Greek, Roman and Romanesque. This is probably the best building in the Urban Renewal area and although it does not match the earlier Richardson Romanesque architecture of the 1880s and 1890s, it is compatible and does not clash or fight with its surroundings. It is hoped that any new construction will fit as well as this.
From the NRHP Registration Form
PLACER HOTEL

Artist C. M. Russell illustrated the program for the formal ball, held April 12, 1913, inaugurating the largest hotel between the Twin Cities and the Coast. Built almost entirely with donations as a public enterprise, Helena felt real pride of ownership and the Placer quickly became the center of civic activity. Its name derives from the placer gold washed from the gravel during the excavation of its foundation. Architect George H. Carsley designed the building in consultation with Cass Gilbert, architect of New York's famed Woolworth Building. The Placer's wrought iron balconies, overhanging eaves, and wide cornice are reminiscent of the nearby Montana Club, designed by Gilbert in 1905. The seven-story hotel was constructed of reinforced concrete and Western Clay Manufacturing Company (now the Archie Bray Foundation) brick. Each of its 172 guest rooms, arranged around a U-shape, opened onto the outside. Custom-made china, cutlery, and bed linens—supplied by Helena's New York Store—all bore the hotel's prospector insignia. The hotel featured a carriage entrance, a lobby fireplace built for seven-foot logs, and a state-of-the-art kitchen with an automatic dishwasher and central refrigeration system.
From the NRHP plaque at the building
Placer Hotel
Artist C. M. Russell illustrated the program for the formal ball, held April 12, 1913, inaugurating the largest hotel between the Twin Cities and the Coast. Built almost entirely with donations as a public enterprise, Helena felt real pride of ownership, and the Placer Hotel quickly became the center of civic activity. Its name derives from the placer gold washed from the gravel during the excavation of its foundation. As the foundation was being dug, an oldtimer prospector was called in to demonstrate the art of panning. Soon he had a crowd fascinated with the lesson. Legend has it that in digging the basement, workers found enough gold to pay for the building and then some.

Architect George H. Carsley designed the grand hotel in consultation with Cass Gilbert, architect of New York’s famed Woolworth Building. The Placer’s wrought iron balconies, overhanging eaves, and wide cornice are reminiscent of the nearby Montana Club, designed by Gilbert in 1905. The seven-story hotel was constructed of reinforced concrete and brick from the Western Clay Manufacturing Company which is now the Archie Bray Foundation. Each of its 172 guest rooms, arranged around a U-shape, opened onto the outside. Custom-made china, cutlery, and bed linens, supplied by Helena’s New York Store, all bore the hotel’s prospector insignia.

The hotel featured a carriage entrance, a lobby fireplace built to burn seven-foot logs, and a state-of-the-art kitchen with an automatic dishwasher and central refrigeration system. In June of 1960, a campaigning John F. Kennedy visited Helena during the Montana State Democratic Convention and stayed at the Placer as a guest. The former hotel is now divided into condominiums.
From Montana Moments

Photo goes Here

Describe the area and history:
See above


Visit Instructions:
Please describe your visit- The good, the bad & the ugly. :)
Search for...
Geocaching.com Google Map
Google Maps
MapQuest
Bing Maps
Trails.com Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Montana Historical Markers
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Nearest Hotels
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
There are no logs for this waymark yet.