By Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust
The Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust has received a $36,000 grant from the Montana Department of Commerce Tourism and a $4,000 grant from the Montana Cultural Trust. These funds will support the preservation of the historic building in which the Buses’ showcase original operating pre-World War II vehicles used in Yellowstone National Park.
The grant awarded by the Montana Department of Commerce Tourism, and a previously announced $10,000 grant awarded by the Montana History Foundation, will support the repair of the original stucco placed on the building exterior 85 years ago. Restoration of the stucco has begun and is planned for completion this summer.
The grant awarded by the Montana Cultural Trust will support a review of the electrical systems used in the building and the upgrade of those systems as determined appropriate. The review with upgrades is planned to begin later this year.
The building in which the Buses’ showcase the historic Yellowstone Park vehicles was built in 1936 by A.D. Whitcomb and is the site of one of the oldest, if not the oldest, service stations that operated continuously in the State of Montana. The restoration of the building is being done in accordance with an Architectural Assessment performed by a Preservation Architect in early 2020. The assessment provided a comprehensive assessment of the building in its current condition and a detailed roadmap for future restoration efforts. Restoration of the exterior stucco and the review and upgrade of the building’s electrical systems are two of the tasks identified in the assessment.
“The restoration of the stucco on the building and the review and upgrade of the building’s electrical systems will preserve and protect this important landmark contributing to the character of the Red Lodge Commercial Historic District which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places,” said Donald Mueller, president of Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust. “The historic building and vehicles housed therein exemplifies the cultural attractions that draw tourists to Montana and is a valuable component to the economy of Red Lodge.
“The funds provided by the Montana Department of Commerce Tourism, Montana History Foundation and Montana Cultural Trust will go a long ways towards preserving and sharing with others an important part of our past.”