Revitalizing a Historic Landmark: The Mercantile Hotel

Revitalizing a Historic Landmark: The Mercantile Hotel

A stroll through the Mercantile Hotel in Missoula, Montana will offer more than a glimpse into the rich history of the small western town. To truly tell the story of the old Mercantile, almost every part of the building was designed with restorative intent, showcasing the hotel’s heritage as one of the largest wholesale and retail marketplaces in the western United States.

Staying true to the building’s roots as both a retail center and community space, JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE’s design includes nine ground-floor retail spaces, totaling 20,000 square feet. Historic touches and design elements that celebrate the area’s vibrant character can be found throughout the hotel. 

A focal point for the hotel’s main common area, JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE incorporated a large, communal table, hand-designed by Garrett Brown Designs. The table evokes a strong sense of Montana’s character with authentic wood and intricately weaved pieces of leather at the center. 

Paying homage to the original Mercantile that has been restored as part of the hotel, JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE repurposed materials from the historic building’s including an original canopy. 

Using salvaged wood beams and other pieces, JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE incorporated various design elements that speak to the building’s western ancestry. The changing shades of reclaimed wood that line the hotel’s public spaces and corridors resembles the walls of the small log cabin trading post that stood on this site more than 100 years ago. 

Balancing the spirit of the old Mercantile with the need to appeal to modern travelers, JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE incorporated lighting fixtures that feature both antique-styled shades and clear, modern styles.

As the original building once did, the new Mercantile Hotel strives to be a gathering place for visitors and the surrounding community. Stay tuned for updates as the hotel opens this month!