City Rescues Signature Mansion

Story Mansion, Bozeman MT, front viewThe National Trust for Historic Preservation featured Comma-Q’s work in “How a Montana City Rescued its Signature Mansion:”

Surrounded by elegant homes in a historic district of Bozeman, Mont., the 100-year old Story Mansion—one of only three remaining city-block mansions in Montana—has long reigned as the grandest in town. But until recently, the house’s future was precarious…

Kim Everts of Comma-Q Architecture guided Olsen’s team. Transforming Story Mansion into a public space challenged her “to make [the building] accessible and to be respectful of the historic character that was there,” she says. Since opening to the public last year, Story Mansion has hummed with tours, holiday teas, a public Halloween party, weddings, a film festival and jazz performances.

“What we’re doing is so unique. Other mansions are museums,” says Kaaren Jacobson, who championed the mansion’s public ownership while serving as mayor of Bozeman. And though some locals fear the city might still put the mansion on the market, a 50-year conservation easement—conditions of the Save America’s Treasures grant—provides safeguards.

Klockman, who recounts her father’s childhood memories of hearing waltzes floating from T.B. Story’s third-floor ballroom, is delighted that “the mansion is making a new history now.”

Story Mansion, roof detail