Filed Under Montana Tech

Museum Building

Brass Doors Depict the Evolution of Mining

The placement of this building on the corner overlooking Leonard Field and Summit Valley in 1939 added balance to the existing Montana Tech buildings and rounded out the campus. Designed by Butte architect Walter A. Arnold and constructed at a cost of $191,314, the three-and-one-half-story Art Deco style building was built to house the library and the Mineral Museum.

The notable main entrance to the building has three sets of doors that were donated by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. The doors are made of brass and have bas-relief panes depicting the evolution of mining.

The expansive ceilings of the interior were crossed with steel beams encased in dark-stained wood. Many of the interior walls are faced with Gardiner travertine quarried in south central Montana.

Modern facilities have now replaced the library and auditorium, but the mineral museum remains today, sharing quarters with mathematics, computer science, and offices.

The Mineral Museum began in 1901 and is the oldest museum in Butte. It has an impressive collection, including a donation of 2,000 minerals from the Charles Gallagher family and another collection of 1,000 specimens willed to the Museum by William A. Clark III. Today the Mineral Museum has approximately 13,000 specimens. When visiting, notice the stage at the north end of the museum. The space in which the museum is held was once an auditorium.

Images

Museum Building
Museum Building View of the Museum Building from below. Source: Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives
Museum Building Doors
Museum Building Doors The brass doors of the museum building, donated by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, feature panels depicting the evolution of mining. Source: Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives Creator: Clinton Peck Date: Circa 1970

Location

1300 West Park Street, Montana Tech Campus | Public

Metadata

Story of Butte
Contributors: Lindsay Mulcahy, Montana Historical Society, “Museum Building,” Story of Butte, accessed June 22, 2024, https://storyofbutte.org/items/show/3407.