917 North 31st Street

North Elevation Historic District

Built between 1923 and 1927, this building—now a triplex but originally a duplex—is a relatively late addition to the neighborhood. Several elements distinguish it, including its placement set back from the street. The choice of stucco siding—a fashionable modern material in the 1920s—flat roof, and stepped parapet (wall along the roof’s edge) reference the Spanish Eclectic style. Built for the automobile age, each three-room duplex came with its own garage. One garage faced the alley and the other (converted into a third apartment by the 1950s) faced the street. Early residents include trucker John Galusha and wife Barbara in 1930 and carpenter Samuel Moe in 1932. The apartments rented for $28 per month in the 1930s, or about $550 in 2019 dollars. In 1946, widow Mary Gore and her son Alfred, a tile-layer, purchased the property. Mary lived here from 1947 until her death in 1954. During her occupancy, other tenants included a school principal, Northern Pacific Railroad employees, and Mary’s son Alfred and his wife Ernestine. Alfred and Ernestine owned the building until 1980.

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917 North 31st Street, Billings, Montana ~ Private