The architectural character of this pleasant district was initially shaped by copper king Marcus Daly. Between 1890 and 1905, Daly's Anaconda Copper Mining Company constructed substantial high style residences for its managers and modest houses in various vernacular forms for its workers. Fashionable homes were also built by local businessmen who owed their success in part to Daly's encouragement of entrepreneurial enterprise. Construction of the Catholic and Christian churches, which Daly helped finance, added to the district's early diversity. The Romanesque style Ravalli County courthouse symbolizes Daly's considerable political influence in Hamilton's designation as county seat. Daly's death in 1900 and slowdown of the ACM mill precipitated a local recession. Renewed interest in Hamilton came with the start of the "Big Ditch" project in 1905 as investors and speculators promoted their schemes in the Bitterroot Valley. Craftsman and Colonial Revival style residences began to mingle with the older homes. Decline of the apple industry after 1916 triggered another local economic slowdown, but construction of the Rocky Mountain Laboratory in 1927 once again spurred Hamilton's residential growth. Picturesque Revival and Cape Cod style cottages filled in open spaces while a high school and hospital reflect the 1930s economic upswing. The 1946 Moderne style medical arts building completes the district's broad spectrum of architectural styles. Along the tree-lined boulevards, elegant 1890s residences with smaller homes built upon their once-spacious grounds well reflect Hamilton's changing fortunes and bestow a timeless appearance upon the district's neighborhoods.