Although you may not recognize it right away, modernist architecture is featured all over Montana.
“One of the ones that I like is kind of a road side modernist building. It's the old Midas Muffler shop on the corner of Last Chance Gulch and Euclid. It was, it's always been a car garage, but it's got some neat store front windows that are pretty funky,” says historic architecture specialist Pete Brown.
Pete Brown, historic architecture specialist for the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, describes modernism as a form of architecture that looks at the possibilities of machine produced parts.
“The modernism all came after WWII and it's just another layer of our history. It's evidence of the development that took place in Helena after the war,” says Brown.
Country club towers in Great Falls, the Cogswell Building in Helena and the Jones Motor Company building in Lewistown are all examples of modernist architecture. Eight cities were included in the inventory of modernist buildings around Montana. The findings are on display at the Montana Historical Society.
“I hope that people come and see the exhibit and start to look around them in their own environment and see what buildings are out there that are interesting to them and maybe place a greater value on them,” says Brown.
The Montana Historical Society's exhibit was created to celebrate some of the buildings turning 50, which makes them eligible for the national register of historic places. "Montana Modern" will be open through March 2012.