The following is a press release from Tim Syrek:

Butte, MT – The historic Socialist Hall/Fran Johnson Building in Butte, Montana, is set to celebrate its grand reopening on June 5th with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Butte Area Chamber of Commerce. The event will take place at 5:30 PM at the building's location, 1957 Harrison Avenue.

Photo: Tommy O-Townsquare Media
"The Fran" as renovations took place.  Photo: Tommy O-Townsquare Media

Originally home to the renowned Fran Johnson Sporting Goods, the building has undergone extensive renovation led by local developer Rick M. Joseph. The revitalized structure now features eight luxury one and two-bedroom apartments available for lease, as well as two commercial spaces on the ground level.

Rick Joseph, who grew up in the Butte area, emphasized the importance of preserving the building's rich heritage. "I love the rich history Butte has to offer, and it’s important to preserve it," Joseph remarked. "The Fran Johnson building is a lasting part of our heritage, and we want this project to be a point of pride for the City of Butte."

The Socialist Hall, also known as the Fran Johnson Building, is listed on the National Registry of Historical Places. Built in 1916 during the peak of the Socialist movement in the city, it was a hub for the Industrial Workers of the World until socialism fell out of favor. The building later housed Fran Johnson Sporting Goods, serving the community from 1975 for 36 years.

The grand reopening promises to be a celebration of Butte's enduring spirit, with tours of the apartments and the building as a whole. “We would love to have the community come out and see how we have preserved the building and yet made it functional for modern Butte,” Joseph said. “It will always be known as the Fran Johnson building in the eyes of the Butte Community. We are really happy with the improvements.” At the ribbon cutting, you can take a tour and look at the renovations, the new commercial spaces and the apartments. For those interested in leasing the newly available commercial or residential spaces within the Fran Johnson Building, further information can be found at or by contacting 406-792-1191.

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