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The original item was published from 3/2/2015 8:38:21 AM to 3/24/2015 12:05:01 AM.

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Butte-Silver Bow

Posted on: March 2, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Uptown Living: Hirbour Tower remodel goes upscale

A Butte couple has grasped Uptown Butte living to its fullest -- turning a once dilapidated building into pretty fancy digs.

Fran Doran and her partner, Neil Egan, live on the top two floors of the Hirbour Tower at Main and Broadway.

When they purchased the building about five years ago, it was a shell of itself, occupied by pigeons and slowly deteriorating. It had previously been one of Butte’s crown jewels, built in 1901 and considered among Montana’s early high rises.

But the seven-story building gained new life by following an old model – residential, city-center living located above retail shops.

“Metals bank kind of started it,” Doran said. “I think it’s coming now. There’s so much potential here in Butte.”

Doran referred to the eight-story Metals Bank Building, down the street at Main and Park, which converted its upper floors to upscale apartments.

At the Hirbour Tower, Doran and other owners have found big city-style living in the heart of Uptown. But the building took much work getting to that point.

“It was pretty much getting things cleaned out to see what you had,” she said. “It had been vacant for years. The only thing that lived here were pigeons.”

Doran and Egan have lived in the Hirbour Tower for about 18 months. They partnered with local developer Nick Kujawa to renovate the structure, and he received the bottom two floors as part of the deal. Shortly after renovations were completed, a couple from Oklahoma purchased the third and fourth floors.

Kally's Korner, a women's clothing boutique, occupies the street-level space.

One of the less tangible assets Uptown buildings have is a deep history, but sometimes tangible signs are evident. Doran’s apartment features a pair of exposed steel beams – original bones of the tower – that still bear the “Carnegie” stamp of the famous steel company.

See photos on The Montana Standard website.
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