HPAC to Recognize Award Recipients

City of Great Falls Montana


Date:  May 10, 2013
Contact:  Ellen Sievert, Historic Preservation Officer


Great Falls, Montana – The Great Falls-Cascade County Historic Preservation Advisory Commission (HPAC) has selected four preservation or rehabilitation projects to be honored at the 2013 Preservation Award reception, Thursday, May 23, from 5:30 – 7 p.m. in the Missouri Room of the Civic Center.  Additionally, organizational and individual efforts to promote historic preservation will be recognized as well as special collaborative work to preserve and promote Great Falls High School.  The reception is free and open to the public. 
The following award recipients will be honored:

• The Ursuline Centre celebrated a century of service to the community of Great Falls in 2012 that culminated with the completion of a masonry restoration project around the perimeter of the 100-year old building.  The Ursuline Centre Historical Foundation funded the project to re-point the 64,000 square foot cultural and architectural treasure.

• The rehabilitation of the Baum-Trinastich Building at 114 3rd Street South is being honored because the renovation supports the community vision for downtown Great Falls and the completed rehabilitation meets the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for rehabilitation.  The project was the first of five buildings that were the subject of feasibility studies completed through the Technical Assistance program organized by the Preservation Office. The project rehabilitated approximately 10,000 square feet, putting the vacant upper floors back into use.  Rehabilitation included new energy efficient windows, insulation, installation of an elevator, high efficiency heating and cooling system and other enhancements, while preserving original wood floors, baseboards, trim and other historical features.

• Nelson Architects and Dick Anderson Construction are being recognized for a Civic Rehabilitation project that returned the original vaulted ceiling to the City of Great Falls Water Treatment Plant Filter building.  Originally built in 1916, the plant has undergone several alterations.  In the mid-eighties, a suspended flat ceiling was installed that hid the beauty of the elegant steel trusses and ended up as a maintenance concern as the high humidity and highly chlorinated atmosphere took its toll on the suspended ceiling system.  The steel trusses have been restored and painted with a high performance coating that will weather the humidity and attack from the airborne chemical nature of the space.  The focus is once again on a vaulted industrial space showcasing the original steel structure.

• Kathryn Van Tighem will be honored for her work on the Craftsman bungalow at 1405 4th Avenue North, whose first owner was the president of the Fidelity Building and Loan Association.  For a number of years the enclosed front porch served as the office of dentist, Dr. Englert.  In the past year, Van Tighem, the fourth owner, has given new life to the dwelling by having it repainted in vibrant colors and in general sprucing the place up.  The results have lifted the entire 1400 block.  She is an enthusiastic fan of the Lower North Side and her preservation ethic is visible in her Craftsman residence.

• The Downtown Great Falls Association (DGFA) will be recognized for their work to preserve a significant asset in the promotion of Great Falls' resources - the Great Falls Historic Trolley.  The DGFA works tirelessly to promote downtown and the acquisition of the trolley will assist in showcasing the historic districts in and around downtown Great Falls.

• Bethany Salmon, an AmeriCorps VISTA and Rising Preservation Professional will be recognized for her work to index blueprints of historic downtown buildings recently re-discovered in a Civic Center vault.  The index will serve the City, building owners and researchers for years to come. In addition, she worked with the Historic Preservation office and others to identify and evaluate alternatives for re-purposing the Rainbow Powerhouse, which was built in 1910 and is being retired by PPLM.  She presented examples highlighting many successful powerhouse and industrial building adaptive reuse projects.

• Overwhelming public support for the preservation of community icon, Great Falls High School, will be recognized.  Although not yet a preservation or rehabilitation project, the award will honor the efforts of those who recognize the significance of the outstanding Late Collegiate Gothic Revival center for secondary learning.  A task force has worked throughout the past year to develop a plan to meet current educational needs while preserving the historic character of the facility.  GFHS was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the honor role of the nations resources considered worthy of preservation, thanks to the efforts of Phil Faccenda and Darrell Swanson.  GFHS was the subject of the City's Official 2012 ornament, designed by local artist, Sheree Nelson. It proved to be the most popular of the series. 

The Preservation Award reception is held annually as part of National Historic Preservation Month activities.  The theme for the 2013 Preservation Awards Reception is "Sowing Seeds of Preservation."    For more information about the reception and award recipients contact Ellen Sievert, Historic Preservation Officer at 455-8435.