New Park Hotel

Town founders Paris Gibson and Herbert Chowen built the original Park Hotel in 1892 to serve travelers disembarking at the nearby Great Northern Depot. When the hundred-room hotel burned in a 1913 fire, Park Hotel owners hired prominent Great Falls architect George Shanley to design a new building worthy of the booming metropolis. Gibson and Chowen originally estimated the New Park Hotel’s construction would cost $75,000. Ultimately, however, contractors Leigland, Kleppe and Co. built the five-story, fire-resistant, concrete and steel structure for an estimated $200,000. Plans specified a ballroom, banquet room, and dining room on the first floor and a Turkish bath in the basement. The building’s distinctively curved parapets and the balcony accentuated by prominent wooden brackets reflect the Mission Revival style. Inspired by California’s historic Spanish missions, railroad architects increasingly adopted the style for depots, with Great Falls’ 1914 Milwaukee Depot a case in point. The New Park Hotel’s Mission style references complemented the depot without tying it directly to the Milwaukee line. The hotel, after all, served passengers from both railroads.

Images

New Park Hotel, streetview

New Park Hotel, streetview

Photograph included in "Historical and Architectural Survey of a Selected Area within Great Falls Revitalization District, Final Report" (blank verso) b&w print | Source: Official records of the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, Helena, Montana | Creator: Unidentified photographer View File Details Page

Street Address:

100 Central Avenue, Great Falls, Montana [map]

Cite this Page:

“New Park Hotel,” Explore Big – Montana's Historic Places, accessed July 23, 2017, http://explorebig.org/items/show/189.

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