Historic sign, other relics emerge from demolition of Helena apartment building

Phil Drake

For some people, the demolition site of the old Memorial Park Apartments on Lyndale Avenue may just be a heap of rubble.

To AshLy Tubbs, it’s a treasure trove that keeps on giving.

Several artifacts have been uncovered at the site now being cleared for a hotel to be known as The Bell, Helena’s Boutique Hotel, including a neon sign for the Bristol Hotel which was several blocks away.

According to the “Helena As She Was” Facebook posting, the Bristol Hotel and Penn Block were located on the southeast corner of South Main and State streets. The buildings were demolished in 1971, during urban renewal efforts.

Courtesy of the Montana Memory Project

Tubbs said Buck Rea, who owns the property and is leasing the land for the project, told Tubbs and her business partner Karli Mosey that he thought he had seen a sign in the attic. They searched for one but could not find it.

But the demolition team from Environmental Contractors came across it Monday as they were picking apart the building.

Tubbs said the Bristol Hotel

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