Heritage Tourism Council awards historic preservation awards | Local


Shortly after Tony Wilson and Steve Faherty bought their historic Holter Street duplex in 2010, history-loving conservatives said they began to wonder if they had bitten off more than they could chew on.

“It was in bad shape,” Wilson said. “There was nothing historical left.”

The duplex, built around 1889 by the Reverend George K. Berry and his wife Ida, had long been covered with stucco. The storm windows were in poor condition. The porch needed a lot of attention. The drab carpet installed over the original wood floors was almost historic in its own right.

Despite the poor condition, the married couple were determined to restore the building to its former glory.

“We saw the potential under all the stucco and carpet,” Wilson said.

“We’ve both always been in historic homes,” Faherty said. “I guess it’s a passion for us.”

The original wood siding remained under the stucco, but it was now only used as a template for a new custom milled siding.

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Work on the exterior of the building began over five years ago with the exterior cladding.

The porch also had to be rebuilt.

The couple used a photograph taken shortly after the building was constructed to get a feel for what the porch might have looked like. Unfortunately, it only made sense as the photo was taken from a distance.

The couple hired a chemist to analyze the painting on the building and were able to find an exact match that again covers the exterior.

Wilson said he was still working on restoring the storm windows and their corrugated glass.

“It’s a process,” Wilson said.

The couple hope the project will be largely completed soon just to “have a finished house to live in,” Faherty said. “It can’t really be considered a flip house if you’ve lived there for 12 years.”

The project recently received one of the 27th annual historic preservation awards from the Lewis and Clark County Heritage Tourism Council.

Three other projects and a former volunteer were also recognized.

“The idea is to publicize what these people are doing for their properties and local historic preservation efforts,” said Pam Attardo, Heritage Preservation Officer for Lewis and Clark County.

Paula Jacques and Patrick Cirillo were awarded for their rehabilitation of a duplex at 501-503 S. Rodney St.

Tim Coulter and Samantha Sanchez receive their 2021 Historic Preservation Award outside their Madison Avenue property.

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Tim Coulter and Samantha Sanchez were honored for adding a historically accurate garage at 802 Madison Ave.

SMA Architects, which has offices in Helena and Bozeman, and D&M Development, a subsidiary of Dick Anderson Construction, were awarded for the rehabilitation of the Old Liquor Block warehouse located at 920 Front St.

Max Seieroe was also recognized for his contributions. Seieroe volunteered with the Heritage Tourism Council in 2014. He was eventually hired by Lewis and Clark County as an office assistant. He resigned in July due to health concerns.

Wilson and Faherty said they appreciate the recognition and are happy to contribute to the neighborhood they love.

The recognition came not only from the Heritage Tourism Board, but also from passers-by.

“We’re getting a lot of feedback,” Wilson said. “People always compliment improvements.”

Tom O’Connell is a member of HTC and was on hand to help present the couple with the award.

“HTC members have been monitoring the progress of this property for years,” said O’Connell. “They did an exemplary job on the building.”

Another board member, Jenn Vieth, said you can now look at the Holter Street duplex and imagine the “cars and dirt roads” that surrounded it at the turn of the century.

“Helena’s story is so varied and deep,” Vieth said. “When you drive, you don’t necessarily see that. These rewards are such a great way to shine a light on that.”


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