There are several historic districts in Bozeman, Montana. Each with its own unique character. With an influx of development in Bozeman this past decade, these neighborhoods are changing, so it's important to keep the history alive. Here are the historic districts in Bozeman.
BON TON AND SOUTH WILLSON DISTRICT
South Willson Avenue is probably the first place you think of when talking about Bozeman's historic neighborhoods. You wouldn't be wrong! This is one of our most notable districts and it encompasses the 200-1000 blocks of South Willson, Grand, South 3rd, and West Cleveland. What sets the Bon Ton District apart from others is the large homes on large lots, Most of the homes were built between 1880-1937. In 1935 concrete lamposts were installed lining Willson and W. Cleveland to show the southern and eastern borders of the district. Many of the homes have towers, wrap-around porches, elaborate ornamentation, brick, and wood. The most notable is of course the Story Mansion which ranks among the most elaborate historic homes in Montana! More diversity in architecture came along in the early 20th century with many homes built by Fred Willson. It became quite prestigious between the 1880s - mid-1930s to live in this area.
This district is an early 20th-century residential area made up mostly of one to two-story frame houses. It is located in the 200-700 blocks of South 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th, including the cross streets. Cooper Park is a central part of this district. Bungalow-style homes are the most commonly found here and many include architectural features like exposed rafters, bay windows, and front porches. You'll notice this area had a plan for even spacing, setbacks, and tree-lined streets. In the early 1910s Bozeman started to see the middle class expand and with that more builders moved into the area. One notable one, Elmer Bartholomew, built many homes in the Cooper District. Click here if you would like to be signed up for new listing notifications for homes in this area.
BOZEMAN BREWERY DISTRICT
The most notable home in this district is the Lehrkind Mansion on N. Wallace. The district is made up of five historic buildings that were all associated with Julius Lehrkind and his family-owned brewing business. The Bozeman Brewer Building, which at the time was located at 803 N. Wallace was the largest building in Bozeman until the MSU fieldhouse was built in 1957! The brewery closed in 1919 during prohibition and has since been torn down. The Lehrkind mansion was built in 1898 and is well-preserved. It was a bed and breakfast for many years and is currently used as a vacation rental on Airbnb.
LINDLEY PLACE DISTRICT
This district lines both sides of the street of the two-street block of Lindley Place with no cross streets. It is a cohesive group of early 20th-century vernacular houses. To the east of Lindley Place is Bozeman Creek and Bogert Park. Several homes in this area have lost their historic architecture because of remodels. The large brick house on the corner built by Joseph Lindley is the anchor for the street. Lindley Place features evenly spaced trees and sidewalks that are imprinted with "Lindley Place - 1906". The homes that have kept their historic integrity are some of the best-preserved houses in the city. There are large homes, mixed with "shotgun" homes that are representative of Bozeman's 19th-century lumber industry. Homes on this street don't come on the market often, so click here if you are interested.
NORTHERN PACIFIC - STORY MILL DISTRICT
This is a more recently named historic district and represents what was the transportation hub in Montana. It was named a historic district in 1996 with its time of significance from 1882-1945. The area encompasses around 50-acres and includes the Northern Pacific Main Line, Northern Pacific Rail Yard, Story Mill Spur Line and the buildings nearby. It is one of the only industrial areas named a historic district in the Gallatin Valley and to this day remains relatively open with wetlands.
SOUTH TRACY DISTRICT - SOUTH BLACK DISTRICT
The 800 block of South Tracy is a small group of homes that represent a time of growth in Bozeman from 1917-1930. These more modest homes were due to the demand at the time for inexpensive housing. There are 7 small bungalow-style homes with garages in the back that were built by 4 local builders. They are located between College and Harrison Streets. Beyond that the South Tracy-South Black historic district includes 93 diverse houses that line S. Tracy and S. Black between Olive and Alderson. The tree-lined streets feature many 19th-century bungalow-style homes. This was one of the first residential areas in the city to develop south of Main Street and has most of the oldest, remaining historic homes in Bozeman. This is a coveted area of the south side, if you'd like to know when one of these homes comes on the market sign up for new listing notifications here.
NORTH TRACY DISTRICT
The North Tracy district is the most significant concentration of historic homes on the north side of Main Street. It features many bungalow-style and 19th-century homes between Villard and Peach. As with many homes on the north side, the homes vary greatly in size and design. Most were built by local builders. During the early construction of the north and south side of Main Street, it became clear there was a preference for the south side. The homes on the south were more elaborate, of higher quality, and value. Improvements were focused on the south side and by the turn of the century that is where more middle and upper class lived. By the early 20th century the north side was considered working class. This is an area where we have seen drastic changes and remodels of homes over the past few years.
MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY DISTRICT
This is the most recently named historic district and encompasses 93 acres in the core of campus between W. College, S. 11th, W. Grant, and S. 6th. There have been 26 species of trees purposely planted trees and you can see how land use has shaped the campus with Montana Hall centrally located and a pedestrian circle radiating outward. From this high point on campus you can see several mountain ranges.
MAIN STREET DISTRICT
Located on either side of Main Street from Rouse Avenue to west of Willson, this is the heart of the city! There are commercial buildings along both sides of the four blocks with the Baxter and Bozeman Hotel bookmarking the ends. Most of the buildings are 2-story built in the late 19th and early 20th century. Many are brick and there is a variety of height and design. The Black/Cooper building at 118 East Main is the oldest existing structure in downtown Bozeman, built-in 1872. Few of the downtown structures retain complete integrity. Many have changed throughout the 1900s and continue to change today. Downtown Bozeman has plans for more changes as we grow and expand. You can read more about that here in the Bozeman Community Plan here.
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