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Historic Preservation Advisory Commission accepting applications

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Posted at 4:08 PM, Mar 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-20 18:15:04-04

GREAT FALLS — The Historic Preservation Advisory Commission in Great Falls is looking for at least one new appointee to join their ranks. The term of Peter Jennings concludes April 30th of this year.

The commission is comprised of nine members who specialize in any number of historical preservation disciplines, including architecture, anthropology, archeology and more.

Four members are appointed to conduct themselves within Great Falls, while four other take on the preservation needs of Cascade County. One member is permanently appointed, specializing in professional architecture.

The commission is currently looking to fill a city-appointee spot.

“They think this is one of the best boards. We’re real passionate about what we do. There's not often openings on this commission,” says Chairman of the HPAC, Richard Ecke. “It's pretty popular to be on and it really seems to accomplish things. So this is a good opportunity to apply for it if you're interested.”

The board is currently conducting a study to see if they can save the Boston & Montana Barn, which is the last remaining building from the original smelter in Black Eagle.

“Pretty much everything was torn down, you look over at that area now, and you can’t even tell there was a smelter,” says Ecke. “There’s this white barn that’s in pretty rough shape, but we managed to raise enough money to conduct a study to see if it could be saved. We’re going to get the report back this Spring on whether or not we’ll be able to save it.”

It’s these kinds of goodhearted projects that a newly appointed member can look forward to.

The commission is hoping to improve upon their diversity.

“We'd love to have a lot more applications than we have positions,” says Historic Preservation Officer Samantha Long. “One thing I know we have been looking for is some diversity. It would be great to have participation from the Native community, from the Black community in Great Falls who haven't really had their voices out in front for a long time.”

The deadline to submit an application runs through Friday, March 31st. Applications are available at the City Manager's Office (Civic Center, Room 201); by calling 406-455-8450; or from the Boards & Commission section on the City's website.

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