say that the worst disasters to befall Helena were the 1935
earthquakes and 1970s urban renewal.
The Urban Renewal Plan displaced a number of lower-income South
Main area families, destroying whatever community was there.
Most of the Victorian-era structures in the area fell to the
wrecking ball. In total, 228 buildings were demolished, over
140 businesses were displaced, and 430 familes had to find somewhere
else to live. In a city of Helena's small size, it was a major
demolition, several architecturally insipid government buildings
were erected in the center of the historic district, including
a grim fortress-like Federal Building -- which the Feds have
since abandoned for a newer, bigger one in the Great Northern