2013 Official City Ornament Now Available!

City of Great Falls Montana



Date:  November 7, 2013
Contact:  Ellen Sievert, Historic Preservation Officer – 761-6955



Great Falls, Montana – It’s official. The holiday season has arrived now that the City of Great Falls 2013 holiday ornaments are here and available for purchase!  This year’s ornament, designed by local artist Sheree Nelson, features Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art and is made in the USA of fine art grade pewter. The ornaments can be purchased for $15 at the following locations:

• Visitor Information Center – 15 Overlook Drive
• Great Falls Public Library – 301 2nd Avenue North
• Civic Center Events Office – 2 Park Drive South
• Gallery 16 - 608 Central Ave

The 2013 ornament is the sixth in a series initiated by the Great Falls-Cascade County Historic Preservation Advisory Commission.  Proceeds from the sale of the ornaments are used for preservation educational activities and awards.  Earlier ornaments featured the Civic Center, Vinegar Jones Cabin, the Great Northern Depot-Great Falls Gas Company, the Ursuline Centre and Great Falls High School.

Paris Gibson Square was originally built in 1896 to house Central High School, the first high school in Great Falls.  The massive sandstone structure was designed by William White and built in the Romanesque Revival style.  It served the growing high school population of the city for 35 years.  In 1913, a brick addition (known informally as the New Building) was constructed to handle the ever-increasing number of students and in 1930 Great Falls High School was built to fill the need.  Great Falls Central High School then became Paris Gibson Junior High, a role it filled for the next 44 years.   The “New Building” addition was blown up during the making of the movie “Telefon.”                               

Paris Gibson Junior High closed in 1975. The building reopened in 1977 as Paris Gibson Square Museum of the Art with an educational mission that focused on the arts. Initiated by the Junior League of Great Falls, a task force was created to complete the transition.  Now referred to as the “Square,” it presents exhibitions that focus primarily on contemporary art by regional artists and provides arts education for all ages.

The numbered, limited edition ornament is available for purchase at the four venues listed above.  For mail order inquiries please mail the Historic Preservation Office; PO Box 5021, Great Falls, MT 59403 or call 761-6955. There is a $3.00 charge for postage and handling.

Quantities are limited, so purchase your 2013 holiday ornament today! For more information regarding this year’s holiday ornament, contact Ellen Sievert, Historic Preservation Officer, at 761-6955.