118 East Main Street was built in 1872 by Fred Wilson and was part of the well known "Cooper Block" in downtown Bozeman Montana. It's first use was dedicated to the housing of Walter Cooper's Armory and other businesses critical to the survival of the frontier town. It stood tall with eleven bay facades, of which seven remain to this day.
The project's goal was to preserve the past, while carrying it into the future. Through research, the current retailers still felt the historic building to be needed, but also had needs for rear alley access necessary to running their businesses. The focus of the preservation of the building was split in two. One was the historic main street facade and the other was a renovation of the alley.
While focusing on these two aspects, an addition of sustainable features were implemented. Earthquake potential was also an aspect that needed to be dealt with.
The interior space of the building was tripled in size, emphasizing the addition of natural daylight to utilize a new passive storage wall, along with integrating a complete seismic system into the structure.
The reconstruction of a portion of the front facade was done by referencing the 1872 photos. Although the new space is modern and open, the design elements of the original architect continue to prevail.
This was one effort in which the history of a small town was preserved for generations to come.
118 East Main Street was awarded a Bozeman Historic Preservation Advisory Board Award in Excellence in Historic Preservation in 2004.