“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Kalispell in Flathead County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

City Water Department

City Water Department Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 19, 2020
1. City Water Department Marker
Inscription.  Water mains installed and maintained by a privately owned franchise served the city of Kalispell as early as 1892. In 1913, the city purchased the company and its superintendent, William H. Lawrence, remained with the new City Water Department. The city built a new plant at the north end of town, which soon served residents, and by 1927, the city was maintaining more than twenty-one miles of water mains. Lawrence was an able manager and advocate who, among other things, instituted the compilation of annual water department reports that included photographs and descriptions of Kalispell’s buildings. These reports, beginning in 1913, today provide invaluable documentation of Kalispell’s early streetscapes. Another of Superintendent Lawrence’s legacies was the construction of this splendid Georgian Revival style building to house department offices. Designed by architect Fred Brinkman and built with local labor, the one-story building was designed to accept a future second story. Distinctive features include round-arched windows with sidelights and fanlights, an arched balustrade above the entry, Corinthian capitals on pilasters flanking the doorway,
City Water Department and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 19, 2020
2. City Water Department and Marker
and a bracketed cornice. The new building complemented the old city hall, built in 1904 and demolished in 1981, which originally adjoined it on the north. The city jail, later converted to a rooming house/hotel, was on the building’s south side. Although its surroundings have changed greatly through the decades, this marvelous building still serves its original purpose and its attractive façade has escaped alteration.
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureCharity & Public Work. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
Location. 48° 11.718′ N, 114° 18.672′ W. Marker is in Kalispell, Montana, in Flathead County. Marker is at the intersection of 1st Avenue East and 4th Street East, on the right when traveling south on 1st Avenue East. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 336 First Avenue East, Kalispell MT 59901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sauser-Mercord Building (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Cry Building (about 400 feet away); Carnegie Library (about 400 feet away); Masonic Temple (about 400 feet away); Knight and Twining Block
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(about 500 feet away); Kalispell Mercantile Rental Property (about 600 feet away); Missoula Mercantile/Kalispell Mercantile (about 600 feet away); Main Street Commercial Historic District (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kalispell.
Also see . . .  City Water Department -- Flathead Beacon. It may seem a little odd that the Kalispell City Water Department building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But odd is OK. Especially since this fine example of Georgian Revival architecture is a landmark in its own right – and one with a fascinating trove of “underground history.” (Submitted on November 21, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 21, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 24 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 21, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Feb. 26, 2021