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GSA Celebrates The New Old Modernistic Bozeman Federal Building

2016 Marks The 50th Anniversary For This Downtown Bozeman Landmark

Exterior historic photo of the Bozeman Federal Bu

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) kicks off the Bozeman Federal Building and Post Office’s 50th year celebration in Gallatin County. The public is welcome to join building tenants who are commemorating this occasion by planting a tree outside of the building at 10 E Babcock Street at 11 a.m. MST.

"Preserving historic buildings helps us to celebrate our nation's heritage while also moving forward with updated infrastructure and technology," says Sue Damour, GSA Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator. "These monuments help cultivate the pride of our past, and it is an environmentally responsible practice. By reusing existing buildings historic preservation is essentially a recycling program of 'historic' proportions." The Bozeman Federal Building is one of the region’s most impressive statements of Montana modernism, and while the 1960s modernistic style remains controversial among many, this unique design adds to the city’s mix of Victorian and Classical architectural styles.

"The birth of the modernism movement was revolutionary," said Les Shepherd, GSA Chief Architect. "In fact, you can argue that its democratic principles and sleek aesthetic have only become popular in the last 20 years. The 50th anniversary of the Bozeman Federal Building reminds us that modernist architecture was one of the greatest innovations of its time, and that the federal government was visionary for embracing it." In 1964, GSA hired a local Butte architect, Norman J Hamill & Associates, to design the federal building. The building contractor was Sletten Construction Company out of Great Falls.

"Sletten is very proud of our history in the creation of lasting statements to the past styles and heritage of construction and architecture," said J. Robert Sletten, Chairman of Sletten Construction. "The Bozeman Federal Building was an important part of the success of Sletten in the early 1960’s. We applaud the GSA for their vision in preserving buildings like this to represent the architectural styles of all generations. We look forward to building more history for generations to come."

The federal building is the only GSA owned building in Bozeman and it continues to provide work space for the U.S. Postal Service, the Agricultural Department and others. A little over 100 employees work out of this five-story building. In the spring of 2010, American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds were made available to up upgrade the building’s lighting, such as installing occupancy sensors, improving the automated controls, and installing new chillers.

This year also marks the 50th year of The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, a cornerstone of American historic preservation. It was created in the belief that too many important historic places were being lost to post-World War II development and construction, and that the federal government should play an important role in protecting places that embody the United States' cultural heritage This Formalist style building is part of the heritage and culture of the historic downtown Bozeman business district. This historic building and others, are a direct and substantial representation of history and place. 

Visit GSA’s Historic Preservation Program for more details.