BOZEMAN — For more than 100 years, the historic Gallatin Laundry Building welcomed people from across Southwest Montana inside its doors. Now renovated, it looks to welcome folks back inside once again.
“Nobody really for almost 100 got to see what was going on in this building,” says Rob Lateiner, principal at Virga Capital.
“In 1915, my great-grandpa and T.B Story came together and basically developed a partnership to build a building,” says Shawn O’Connell, owner and president of Gallatin Laundry.
In that building resided Gallatin Laundry, which provided dry cleaning and laundry services from 1917 to 2018. For nearly a century, folks were only able to get a small taste of the building. During its prime, most of the building wasn't in public view.
“They've only been into the office, which is virtually right here, and they never went into the back,” says O’Connell.
Now after the renovation, the public will be able to take in the 6,000-square-foot building in full.
“We turned the service entrance at the center of the building into the main entrance, so people will be able to walk in and experience the big open space of this building,” says Lateiner.
The business has been in the family for five generations. O’Connell grew up working the ins and outs of his family business.
“This is where I earned my allowance. I kind of worked here my entire life. I remember the fires in Yellowstone in ‘88 when I would go in the delivery truck with my dad to deliver to Gardiner, to Mammoth,” says O’Connell.
Not only has he grown up with the business, but the business has grown up with the town.
“It sits on the original B plot of Downtown Bozeman. First Security Bank sits on the original A plot, so it's been here for a very long time,” says O’Connell.
As renovations moved along, curiosity grew.
“People would start to peer in the windows and would get really excited about the project,” says Lateiner.
The building is getting ready to welcome people back.
“(We) really wanted to open it up to the public so the public could really experience the incredible nature of this building,” says Lateiner.
And new light is flooding in.
“To see the building being repurposed like this, is fitting to the vision that we had for the business because we want to serve the community and we did successfully for a long time, and now it's going to do it again with a new venture. It's going to see the light of day for another 100 years,” says O’Connell.
Backcountry, an outdoor retailer, is set to go in the renovated building.
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