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

Billings in Yellowstone County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

George L. Tracy Building

Billings Townsite Historic District

 
 
George L. Tracy Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2020
1. George L. Tracy Building Marker
Inscription.  In the 1910s, Billings promoted itself as the capital of the “Midland Empire.” That economic domain covered thirty thousand square miles and boasted hundreds of communities that relied on Billings for supplies. No wonder Helena-based distributor George L. Tracy Co. expanded into the Billings market, constructing this two-story warehouse in 1919. The building was designed for optimal efficiency. A rear loading dock bordered the tracks, and the building’s raised concrete foundation placed the structure on the same level as the railroad cars to ease unloading. Its side loading dock—part of a one-story addition constructed in 1923—was built to accommodate trucks, which played an increasingly important role in the distribution of goods. The front façade boasts decorative dentils and seven brick pilasters trimmed at the caps with sandstone darts. These pilasters likely cover structural columns of steel or concrete, masking twentieth-century technology with traditional masonry detailing. The Ryan Fruit Company leased the addition after 1925. A ghost sign on the building’s south wall still promotes a second fruit wholesaler that
George L. Tracy Building and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 15, 2020
2. George L. Tracy Building and Marker
The marker is to the left of the entrance.
occupied the building in the 1940s.
 
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureIndustry & CommerceNotable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
 
Location. 45° 46.939′ N, 108° 30.144′ W. Marker is in Billings, Montana, in Yellowstone County. Marker is at the intersection of Montana Avenue (Business Interstate 90) and North 26th Street, on the right when traveling east on Montana Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2600, Billings MT 59101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Actor Bill Hart Visits Montana Avenue - 1927 (here, next to this marker); Billings Implement Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Mills Durant Star Building (within shouting distance of this marker); The ARU Railroad Strike - 1894 (within shouting distance of this marker); Chief Plenty Coups Visits - circa 1921 (within shouting distance of this marker); Swift and Company Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Calamity Jane Visits Montana Avenue - 1894 (about 300 feet away); Price Motor Sales (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Billings.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 5, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 5, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 5, 2021