Downtown Bozeman: Five Years after the BlastMar 11 2014 · 0 comments · Commercial, Mixed-Use, NISHKIAN MONKS ·0
Five years ago in the morning of March 5, 2009, a gas main explosion and fire rocked the snow-covered Downtown Bozeman, destroyed five historic buildings and businesses on the north side of the 200 block of East Main Street, and killed one young woman. City building officials immediately worked with Nishkian Monks engineers to set up two-person evaluation teams to assess over 50 buildings in the six blocks affected by the blast, and cleared most of them for limited occupancy allowing the people whose homes and livelihoods were affected to start cleaning up and moving forward. Five years later, a lot has been accomplished in reconstructing the area and Nishkian Monks continues to work with the revitalization efforts.
The American Legion Club was the first to begin reconstructing their building at the explosion site at 225 East Main. Completed in November 2010, the new American Legion is a 10,000 square feet classic version of their previous two-story brick building which includes a basement. The bar was moved from the cellar to the ground floor, and a banquet hall and catering kitchen exist on the second floor. The Legion’s 1946 neon blue-and-gold backlit sign miraculously survived the blast. It was refurbished and mounted on the second floor of the new building. This building is constructed with CMU bearing walls that also serve as shear walls. Hollow core planks were utilized for framing between bearing walls.
The F&H Building and the iconic Rockin’ R Bar reopened in July 2011 at 209 to 219 East Main Street. This new three story building replaced the 1929 “Ellis, Davis and Sperling Block” and the 1936 “Joyce Theater” buildings. The brick, stone and steel structure features 10,000 square feet of restaurant/retail space on the main floor, and 10,000 square feet of office space on the second floor. There is approximately 9,300 square feet of basement area. The second story offices have functioning balconies, and there are roll-back doors on the main level, which allows the bar and restaurant to open up the front wall to the sidewalk during warmer months. The F&H building currently houses the Rockin’ R Bar, Fin Restaurant, and the Loft Spa.
The 1891 “Odd Fellows” Building that once stood at 221 East Main just east of the F&H Building, and the building previously occupying 229 East Main, known as the “Osborne Building” sustained substantial damage and were demolished. The owners of these two properties are currently considering rebuilding, but no definite plans have been released.
Nishkian Monks was also involved in the construction of these significant projects downtown:
· The new Tire Rama store on Church and Main Street;
· The 65,000 square feet remodel and expansion of First Security Bank which added 18,000 square feet to the existing building with additions to the first and second levels, a new third floor for the HVAC system, and a totally rebuilt drive-up facility;
· The $12 Million Bridger Park Garage providing 435 parking spaces right in the heart of downtown;
· The Powder Horn Building remodel and transformation into the new flagship headquarters of Schnee’s retail store;
· And coming soon the New Imperial 400, a renovation of the existing Imperial Inn building into a boutique hotel with 38 rooms.
Strolling down Main and along nearby side streets, one can’t help but notice all the new businesses that have taken up residence on and near Bozeman’s main strip. It is incredibly noteworthy that all of the businesses that were impacted by the explosion have either relocated with doors open for business, or are rebuilding or relocating in downtown Bozeman. Despite the hardships of the last five years, downtown Bozeman is indeed thriving.