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Missoula railway depot gets historic renovation

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Boone and Crockett HQ (copy)

The Boone and Crockett Club headquarters is in Missoula.

The historic railway depot that houses the Boone and Crockett Club will get a restored roof and other improvements, thanks to some large grant awards.

“We’re going to bring it back to its original state with clay tile,” club development program manager Jodi Bishop said on Friday. “It originally had Spanish clay barrel tiles on every surface. At some point, those were replaced by asphalt shingles. We’re restoring it to its original look when it was built in 1910.”

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust gave $300,000 to support renovation of the former Milwaukee Road Depot, which sits just west of the Beartracks Bridge southern end. That, combined with a $500,000 historic preservation grant from the Montana state government, was enough to start work on the project. Bishop said the total estimated cost would be about $1.4 million.

That includes re-pointing the brickwork around the building, repairing windows and gutters, and other exterior maintenance. Bishop said the public visitor gallery of trophy big game displays will remain unchanged.

“The Boone and Crockett Club was founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt and our organization has played a critical role in conservation ever since,” club executive officer Tony Shoonen said. “The exterior renovations will have our building looking much as it did when TR visited Missoula in 1911 shortly after the depot was completed.”

Nationally known architect J. A. Lindstrand designed the depot for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad. The Mission Style building features a castle-like structure with two observation towers, mission-style parapet walls using brick imported from China, Romanesque windows, and a Spanish-style roof. It is listed on both state and national Register of Historic Places.

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