Main Hall Improvements, UM-Western
UM-Western Campus, Dillion, MT
Completed August 2016

Richard M. Shanahan Architects, Inc.
15 South Tracy - Suite 13
Bozeman, MT 59715

Main Hall or Old Main is the University of Montana Western’s iconic original building. As a condition of statehood, the third Legislative Assembly provided the establishment of Montana State Normal School (now UM–Western). In 1907 a four-story classroom, science labs, larger library, small auditorium and gymnasium were connected to the original Main Hall. In 1924 a three-story library building was constructed. It included a two-story reading room, classrooms and faculty offices. In 1951 the Main Hall Complex was completed with a two-story 650-seat Beier Auditorium. Beier served as a drama and arts educational space with the lower-level housing theater set design and construction shop in addition to dressing rooms, restrooms and set storage. The four buildings compose the Main Hall Complex with all buildings listed on the National Register of Historical Places. This registration required consideration worthy of stabilization and preservation of all structures.

Age took its toll on Old Main Complex, but a phased restoration project has restored the grandeur back to these magnificent structures. The Historical Architect and Design team insured that the historical character of the building was respected and saved unless impossible. The final design resulted in 23 classrooms and 58 offices. The Beier Auditorium and Small Auditorium remain as functional teaching spaces. The final design also shows increase in conference rooms, work rooms, restrooms and janitorial space. The finished project included three phases and a Legacy Plaza that connected the Main Hall Complex with the existing campus and eliminated a bisecting asphalt road.

Design Team:
· Richard M. Shanahan Architects, Inc. - Architect
· Kenneth R. Sievert, AIA - Historical Architect
· Morrison – Maierle, Phase 1 & 2 - Structural
· BCE Beaudette Engineers Phase 3 - Structural
· GPD Consulting Engineers - MP&E

Main Hall Improvements, UM-Western
UM-Western Campus, Dillion, MT
Completed August 2016

Richard M. Shanahan Architects, Inc.
15 South Tracy - Suite 13
Bozeman, MT 59715

Main Hall or Old Main is the University of Montana Western’s iconic original building. As a condition of statehood, the third Legislative Assembly provided the establishment of Montana State Normal School (now UM–Western). In 1907 a four-story classroom, science labs, larger library, small auditorium and gymnasium were connected to the original Main Hall. In 1924 a three-story library building was constructed. It included a two-story reading room, classrooms and faculty offices. In 1951 the Main Hall Complex was completed with a two-story 650-seat Beier Auditorium. Beier served as a drama and arts educational space with the lower-level housing theater set design and construction shop in addition to dressing rooms, restrooms and set storage. The four buildings compose the Main Hall Complex with all buildings listed on the National Register of Historical Places. This registration required consideration worthy of stabilization and preservation of all structures.

Age took its toll on Old Main Complex, but a phased restoration project has restored the grandeur back to these magnificent structures. The Historical Architect and Design team insured that the historical character of the building was respected and saved unless impossible. The final design resulted in 23 classrooms and 58 offices. The Beier Auditorium and Small Auditorium remain as functional teaching spaces. The final design also shows increase in conference rooms, work rooms, restrooms and janitorial space. The finished project included three phases and a Legacy Plaza that connected the Main Hall Complex with the existing campus and eliminated a bisecting asphalt road.

Design Team:
· Richard M. Shanahan Architects, Inc. - Architect
· Kenneth R. Sievert, AIA - Historical Architect
· Morrison – Maierle, Phase 1 & 2 - Structural
· BCE Beaudette Engineers Phase 3 - Structural
· GPD Consulting Engineers - MP&E

How to Be an Architect

Architects must be licensed before they can practice as an architect or call themselves an architect. There are three main steps in becoming an architect: education, internship and examination.

  • Education: The Montana State University School of Architecture offers a Master of Architecture professional degree that is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite.
  • Internship: Most state architectural registration boards require architectural graduates to complete an internship in order to become licensed.
  • Examination: All states require the completion of the Architect Registration Examination, in order to gain licensure within the 54 jurisdictions covered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB).


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