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Dumas Brothel applies for URA loan

By Jacqueline Gedeon, KTVM Butte Reporter, jgedeon@ktvm.com
Published On: Dec 29 2013 05:59:25 PM MST
BUTTE, Mont. -

Two Butte men are hoping to bring new life to a historic building in uptown Butte. It's the latest proposed project in a series of old buildings that have been remodeled and re-purposed. The owners have the county's support, but now they're asking for a $92,000 loan.

Owners Michael Piche and Travis Eskelsen bought the historic Dumas Brothel 18 months ago and have been working to restore it ever since.

"We've been able to do a lot of work," said Piche. "A lot of debris and demolition."

They've cleaned up garbage, removed rotting plaster, and replaced walls. But Piche tells me there is as lot more that needs to be done, and to it they'll need more money.

"There are elements to this place where if it's not repaired, sadly it could cause the deterioration of the entire thing," Piche told us.

Butte- Silver Bow Community Development Director Karen Byrnes told us the Urban Revitalization Agency board is currently gathering more information about a $92,000 loan the owners have applied for.

"And looking how to structure this request so we can make it a success," Byrnes explained.

She told us the loan money would go towards the building's mortgage and rehabilitation of the structure.

"It's one of our goals and our objectives of our district," she said. "To protect our cultural and historical assets and this fits the bill."

Some of the URA money would go towards repairing breaks in the foundation.

"We've done what we can to clean up the insides," said Piche. "And now we're just hopeful with this URA application that we put in that they see this building is important to us and Montana and many other people."

Piche told us the masonry repairs could be finished as quickly as two months.

"We're going to keep it exactly how it's supposed to be," he said. "Our intent is to restore it and not alter or change it in any way."

Piche told us it's important for history's sake to keep this building and restore it to it's original state.

"Instead of reading about it in history books like we have about the other brothel's in the district," he explained. "We actually get to experience, we get to come inside and see it for ourselves."

We're told the URA will have a meeting next month about the Dumas Brothel and how they could structure that loan.