Montana State Capitol Undergoes Condition Assessment as First Phase of DOA Preservation Planning

By Hennebery Eddy

Historic Montana State Capitol, a white, domed sandstone building.
Assessment work begins on the exterior of Montana’s State Capitol.

Bozeman architects and Portland, Oregon, historical architects team up to develop treatment plan for preservation of iconic Capitol

Helena, MT (November 22, 2021) – A team of historic preservation specialists and architects is performing a comprehensive building condition assessment of Montana’s landmark capitol. The assessment is the first step in developing treatment recommendations and a prioritized preservation plan for the historic structure. The effort is led by Hennebery Eddy Architects’ Bozeman studio; the firm’s historical architects have worked on buildings of similar cultural significance across the western United States.

Historic preservation specialists from Hennebery Eddy Architects assess the condition of the capitol’s sandstone exterior.

This effort merges traditional assessment practices with modern architectural software to streamline the process and generate an Historic Building Information Model (HBIM) that will serve recommended future rehab projects and provide the State of Montana’s Department of Administration (DOA) with a preservation management tool. The model will function as a repository of historical data, current conditions, and a record of work for the building. “The significance and scale of the Montana Capitol are ideal for integrating innovative historic preservation approaches and architectural design software to establish an efficient, high-yield assessment and tool that will serve the State long-term,” said historical architect Carin Carlson, a member of Hennebery Eddy’s Historic Resources Group.

The Montana State Capitol was constructed in two phases: the central sandstone portion completed in 1902 and the east and west granite wings in 1912. The building was formally listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. A variety of renovation projects and updates completed during the last 100 years necessitate thorough investigation and testing to fully understand the existing conditions. The findings of the condition assessment will inform treatment recommendations and alternatives and help DOA prioritize any potential rehabilitation efforts.

The interior of the capitol features richly ornate finishes.

Consulting team members include extreme access specialists Vertical Access, copper experts Renaissance Roofing, materials testing from Dominion Consulting and Coon Restoration, 3D reality documentation specialists from Reality Documentation Solutions and ACC Cost Consultants. Montana-based consultants include DCI Engineers and Morrison-Maierle from Bozeman and Great Falls-based Maddox Roofing.

A leader in historic preservation in the Intermountain West, Hennebery Eddy Architects has successfully completed rehabilitation and adaptive reuse projects for universities, libraries, national parks, and civic buildings throughout the West. The firm’s historic preservation portfolio includes some of Southwest Montana’s most prominent historic buildings, including Bozeman’s Carnegie Library, the T.B. Story Mansion, and the Willson Administration Building.