Monday, March 4, 2013

Hamilton Block, 45 West Broadway Street

By Richard I. Gibson

Architect: Henry M. Patterson
Built: 1892
Status: ground floor for lease (2013); upper floors vacant

Built for businessman Patrick J. Hamilton, this 52’x100’ three-story brick structure served typical Butte functions: stores on the first floor and lodgings above. The building replaced a pair of two-story restaurants at the corner of Utah (previous name of Hamilton Street) and Broadway, and a Chinese store at 49 W. Broadway.

The iron store-front columns were cast by Montana Iron Works of Butte, located on the edge of Chinatown at 213-215 South Main when the Hamilton was erected. The tin cornice is one of the longest cornices surviving in Butte. Exterior stone sills, lintels, and keystones are likely Butte granite.

The first floor has been somewhat remodeled. Three businesses—from the corner to the west, a saloon, a store, and a restaurant—originally occupied the Broadway Street front, and the hotel entrance was at the middle of the building’s east front on Hamilton Street (the entry archway survives). The first floor was a cafĂ© prior to occupancy by the antique store, which moved out in 2012. Upper floors are largely intact, though deteriorating, and retain original woodwork and open skylight. Gold leaf formerly decorated picture molding on the third floor.

Photo by Richard Gibson.


  1. Davy Caldwell, IrelandMarch 4, 2015 at 8:47 PM

    The saloon referred to was owned in 1901 by William E. Deeney and James C. Duffy. Both men were immigrants from Co.Donegal, Ireland and were very active in Montana miners' unions and in the Western Federation of Miners from the early 1890s. Deeney was tried for the murder of a political critic in 1891 but was acquitted. James Duffy was shot in the head and died on a bar room table in Philipsburg in 1916. Both men were also dedicated members of Clan na Gael, a highly secretive Irish-American organisation, whose object was to provoke revolution in Ireland.

  2. The bar was founded in 1899 and was aptly named The Grand Opera Saloon since it serviced theater goers attending the Opera House on Main St.

    1. Actually the Grand Opera House was on Broadway, almost across the street from this building.