For over 100 years, the historic Gallatin Laundry Building has welcomed people from all over southwestern Montana inside its doors after years of closure. Now renovated, it seems to be welcoming people back inside.
“No one out of almost 100 people could really see what was going on in that building,” says Rob Lateiner, director of Virga Capital.
“In 1915, my great-grandfather and TB Story got together and basically developed a partnership to build a building,” says Shawn O’Connell, owner and president of Gallatin Laundry.
In this building resided Gallatin Laundry, which provided dry cleaning and laundry services from 1917 to 2018. For nearly a century, people could only get a glimpse of the building. In its heyday, most of the building was not in public view.
“They only went into the office, which is practically here, and they never went to the back,” O’Connell says.
Now, after the renovation, the public will be able to fully enjoy the 6,000 square foot building.
“We transformed the service entrance in the center of the building into the main entrance, so that people could enter and experience the large open space of this building,” explains Lateiner.
The company has been in the family for five generations. O’Connell grew up working the ins and outs of his family business.
“That’s where I earned my allowance. I’ve kind of worked here all my life. I remember the fires in Yellowstone in 1988 when I was going in the delivery truck with my dad to deliver to Gardiner, Mammoth,” O’Connell says.
Not only did he grow with the company, but the company grew with the city.
“It is on the original B field in downtown Bozeman. First Security Bank is on the original Plot A, so it’s been there for a very long time,” says O’Connell.
As the renovations progressed, curiosity grew.
“People were starting to look out the windows and were 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 a new light is flooded.
“To see the building being repurposed in this way fits with the vision we had for the business, because we want to serve the community and we’ve done that successfully for a long time, and now it’s going to do it again with a new business. . It’s going to be around for another 100 years,” says O’Connell.
Backcountry, an outdoor products retailer, is set to move into the renovated building.