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

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

West Side School

West Side School and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 16, 2020
1. West Side School and Marker
The marker is above the orange pylon.
Inscription.  With schools “crowded to suffocation,” the Billings School District decided to construct a new four-room school on the city’s West Side in 1909 for an estimated $28,000. For the building’s design, Billings architect Curtis Oehme chose a practical version of Renaissance Revival style. The style, made popular for public buildings by the Columbian Exposition of 1893, is reflected in the school’s arched and pedimented doors and windows, rusticated masonry at the basement level, strong horizontal lines emphasized by a limestone belt and string courses, and the flat roof and detailed cornice. Billings’ rapid growth during the homestead boom led to a 1917 addition, also designed by Oehme, which effectively doubled the school’s size. A third addition in 1922, designed by architects McIver and Cohagen, testified to the neighborhood’s continuing growth. Over the years, the West Side School helped create strong community ties, hosting union meetings and church services as well as school events such as concerts and theatrical performances. In the 1930s, seventy-five children played in the school orchestra, and at one point the school boasted
West Side School image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 16, 2020
2. West Side School
the largest Parent Teacher Association membership in the state. The ninth school building constructed in Billings, it is one of the city’s oldest elementary schools. Both the exterior and interior retain a remarkable degree of historical integrity; classrooms and corridors still have original trim work, wood flooring, and chalkboards. Now called Broadwater School, the building continues to serve as an elementary school while remaining a strong visual focal point for this historic neighborhood.
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationNotable Buildings.
Location. 45° 46.652′ N, 108° 31.57′ W. Marker is in Billings, Montana, in Yellowstone County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Broadwater Avenue and 4th Street West. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 415 Broadwater Avenue, 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. I.D. O'Donnell Home (approx. 0.4 miles away); Moss Mansion (approx. half a mile away); 901 North 32 Street (approx. ¾ mile away); Tenth Avenue Grocery (approx. 0.8 miles away); Garfield School (approx. 0.9 miles away); North Elevation Historic District
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
(approx. 0.9 miles away); 1109 North 31 Street (approx. 0.9 miles away); 1109 North 32 Street (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Billings.
More about this marker. The marker could not be accessed because of perimeter fencing around the school.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 11, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 38 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 11, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
Paid Advertisement
Mar. 3, 2021