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The Burgtheater on the Dr.-Karl -Lueger-Ring (from now on, Universitätsring) in Vienna is an Austrian Federal Theatre. It is one of the most important stages in Europe and after the Comédie-Française, the second oldest European, as well as the largest German speaking theater. The original ‘old’ Burgtheater on Michaelerplatz was recorded from 1748 until the opening of the new building at the ring in October, 1888. The new house was completely on fire in 1945 as a result of bomb attacks, until the re-opening on 14 October 1955 was the Ronacher as temporary quarters. The Burgtheater is considered Austrian National Theatre.
Throughout its history, the theater was wearing different names, first kk Theater next to the castle, then to 1918 K.K. Court-Burgtheater and since then Burgtheater. Especially in Vienna it is often referred to as "The Castle (Die Burg)" , the ensemble members are known as Castle actors (Burgschauspieler). Director of the House since 2009, Matthias Hartmann.
St. Michael’s Square with the old K.K. Theatre beside the castle (right) and the Winter Riding School of the Hofburg (left)
The interior of the Old Burgtheater, painted by Gustav Klimt. The people are represented in such detail that the identification is possible.
The ‘old’ Burgtheater at St. Michael’s Square
The original castle theater was set up in a ball house that was built in the lower pleasure gardens of the Imperial Palace of the Roman-German King and later Emperor Ferdinand I in 1540, after the old house 1525 fell victim to a fire. Until the beginning of the 18th Century was played there the Jeu de Paume, a precursor of tennis. On 14 March 1741 finally gave the Empress Maria Theresa, who after the death of her father ruled a general theater lock order, the "Entrepreneur of the Royal Court Opera" and lessees of 1708 built theater at Kärntnertor, Joseph Karl Selliers, permission to change the ballroom into a theater. Simultaneously, a new ball house was built in the immediate vicinity, which todays Ballhausplatz is bearing its name.
In 1748, the newly designed "theater next to the castle" was opened. 1756 major renovations were made, inter alia, a new rear wall was built. The Auditorium of the Old Burgtheater was still a solid timber construction and took about 1200 guests. The imperial family could reach her royal box directly from the imperial quarters with them the Burgtheater was structurally connected. At the old venue at Michael’s place were, inter alia, several works of Christoph Willibald Gluck, Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as well as Franz Grillparzer were premiered .
On 17 February 1776, Emperor Joseph II declared the theater to the German National Theatre (Teutsches Nationaltheater). It was he who ordered by decree that the pieces should not treat sad events to bring the imperial audience in a bad mood. Many pieces had changed and therefore a Vienna Final (Happy End) is provided, such as Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet. From 1794, the theater was bearing the name K.K. Court Theatre next to the castle.
1798 the poet August von Kotzebue was appointed as head of the Burgtheater, but after discussions with the actors he left Vienna in 1799. Under German director Joseph Schreyvogel was introduced German instead of French and Italian as a new stage language.
On 12 In October 1888 the last performance in the old house took place. The Burgtheater ensemble moved to the new venue on the ring. The Old Burgtheater had to give way to the completion of Michael’s tract of Hofburg. The plans to this end had been drawn almost 200 years before the demolition of the old Burgtheater by Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach.
The "new" K.K. Court Theatre (as the inscription reads today) on the ring opposite the Town Hall, opened on 14th in October 1888 with Esther of Grillparzer and Schiller’s Wallenstein’s Camp, it was designed in neo-Baroque style by Gottfried Semper (plan) and Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer (facade), who had already designed the Imperial Forum in Vienna together. Construction began on 16 December 1874 and followed through 14 years, in which the architects quarreled. Already in 1876 Semper withdrew due to health problems to Rome and had Hasenauer realized his ideas alone, who in the dispute of the architects stood up for a mainly splendid designed grand lodges theater.
However, created the famous Viennese painter Gustav Klimt and his brother Ernst Klimt and Franz Matsch 1886-1888 the ceiling paintings in the two stairwells of the new theater. The three took over this task order for similar work in the city of Fiume theaters and Karlovy Vary and in the Bucharest National Theatre. In the grand staircase at the café Landtmann side facing the Burgtheater (Archduke stairs) reproduced Gustav Klimt the artists of ancient theater in Taormina in Sicily, in the stairwell on the "People’s Garden"-side (Kaiserstiege, because it was reserved for the emperor), the London Globe Theatre and the final scene from William Shakespeare’s " Romeo and Juliet" . Above the entrance to the auditorium is Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid to discover. In the background the painter immortalized in the company of his two colleagues. Emperor Franz Joseph I liked the ceiling paintings so much that he gave the members of the company of artists of Klimt the Golden Cross of Merit.
The new building resembles externally the Dresden Semper Opera, but even more, due to the for the two theaters absolutely atypical cross wing with the ceremonial stairs, Semper Munich project from the years 1865/1866 for a Richard Wagner Festspielhaus on the Isar. Above the middle section, a loggia, which is framed by two side wings, and is divided from a stage house with a gable roof and auditorium with a tent roof. Across the center house is decorated with a statue of Apollo, the facade, the towers between the Muses of drama and tragedy. Over the main entrances are located friezes with Bacchus and Ariadne. On the exterior round busts can be seen the poet Calderon, Shakespeare, Moliere, Schiller, Goethe, Lessing, Halm, Grillparzer, and Hebbel. The masks are also to be seen here, indicating the ancient theater, also adorn the side wings allegories: love, hate, humility, lust, selfishness, and heroism. Although since 1919, the theater was named the Burgtheater, the old saying KK Hofburgtheater over the main entrance still exists. Some pictures of the old gallery of portraits having been hung in the new building are still visible today – but these images were originally small, they had to be "extended" to make them work better in high space. The locations of these "supplements" are visible as fine lines on the canvas.
The Burgtheater was initially well received due to its magnificent appearance and technical innovations such as electric lighting of the Viennese, but soon criticism of the poor acoustics was loud. Finally, in 1897 the auditorium was rebuilt to reduce the acoustic problems. The new theater was an important meeting place of social life and soon counted among the "sanctuaries" of the Viennese. In November 1918, the supervision on the theater was transferred from the High Steward of the emperor to the new state of German Austria.
1922/1923 the Academy Theatre was opened as a chamber play stage of the Burgtheater. 8th May 1925 was the Burgtheater in Austria’s criminal history, as here Mentscha Karnitschewa perpetrated a revolver assassination on Todor Panitza .
The Burgtheater in time of National Socialism
The National Socialist ideas also left traces in the history of the Burgtheater. Appeared in 1939 in Adolf Luser Verlag the strongly anti-Semitic embossed book of theater scientist Heinz Kindermann "The Burgtheater. Heritage and mission of a national theater", in which he, among other things, analyzed the "Jewish influence "on the Burgtheater. On 14 October 1938 was the 50th anniversary of the opening of Burgtheater a production of Don Carlos of Karl-Heinz Stroux shown that served the Hitler’s ideology. The role of the Marquis of Posa played the same Ewald Balser, who ‘railed in a different Don Carlos production a year earlier (by Heinz Hilpert) at the Deutsches Theater in the same role with the set direction of Joseph Goebbels box: "Enter the freedom of thought". The actor and director Lothar Müthel, who was director of the Burgtheater between 1939 and 1945, staged 1943 Merchant of Venice, in which Werner Kraus Shylock the Jew clearlyanti-Semitic represented. The same director staged after the war Lessing ‘s parable Nathan the Wise. Adolf Hitler himself visited during the Nazi regime the Burgtheater only once (1938), and later he refused out of fear of an assassination.
For actors and theater staff who were classified according to the Reich Citizenship Law of 1935 as "Jewis ", were quickly imposed banned from performing, they were on leave, fired or arrested within days. The Burgtheater ensemble made between 1938 and 1945 no significant resistance against the Nazi ideology, the game plan was heavily censored, actively just joined the Resistance, as Judith Holzmeister (then also at the National Theatre committed ) or the actor Fritz Lehmann. Although Jewish members of the ensemble indeed have been helped to emigrate, was still an actor, Fritz Strassny, taken to a concentration camp and murdered there.
The Burgtheater end of the war and after the Second World War
In summer 1944, the Burgtheater had to be closed because of the general arranged theater lock. From 1 April 1945 as the Red Army approached Vienna, outsourced a military unit in the house, a portion was used as an arsenal. In a bomb attack the house at the Ring was damaged and burned on 12th April 1945 it burned completely. Auditorium and stage were useless, only the steel structure remained. The ceiling paintings and part of the lobby were almost undamaged.
The Soviet occupying power expected from Viennese City Councillor Viktor Matejka to bring Vienna ‘s cultural life as soon as possible again. The council called for 23 April (a state government did not yet exist), a meeting of all Viennese cultural workers into the town hall. Result of the discussions was that in late April 1945 eight cinemas and four theaters took up the operation again, including the Burgtheater. The house took over the Ronacher Theater, which was understood by many castle actors as "exile" as a temporary home (and remained there to 1955). This Venue chose the newly appointed director Raoul Aslan, who championed particularly active.
The first performance after the Second World War was on 30 April 1945 by Franz Grillparzer, Sappho, directed by Adolf Rott from 1943 with Maria Eis in the title role. Other productions from the Nazi era were resumed. With Paul Hoerbiger, a Nazi prisoner a few days ago still in mortal danger, was shown the piece of Nestroy Mädl (Girlie) from the suburbs. The Academy Theatre was recorded (the first performance was on 19 April 1945 Hedda Gabler, a production of Rott in 1941) and also in the ball room (Redoutensaal) at the Imperial Palace took performances place. Aslan had the Ronacher rebuilt in the summer because the stage was too small for classical performances. On 25 September 1945, Schiller’s Maid of Orleans could be played on the larger stage.
The first new productions are associated with the name of Lothar Müthel: Anyone and Nathan the Wise, in both Raoul Aslan played the main role. The staging of The Merchant of Venice by Müthel to Nazi times seemed to be forgotten.
Great pleasure gave the public the return of the in 1938 from the ensemble expelled Else Wohlgemuth on stage. She performaed after seven years of exile in December 1945 in Clare Biharys The other mother in the Academy Theater. 1951 opened the Burgtheater its doors for the first time, but only the left wing, where the celebrations of the 175th anniversary of the theater took place.
1948, a competition was announced for the reconstruction: Josef Gielen, who was then director, first tended to support the design of ex aequo-ranked Otto Niedermoser, after which the house into a modern theater rank should be rebuilt. Finally, he agreed but then for the project by Michael Engelhardt, whose plan was conservative, but also cost effective. The character of the lodges theater was largely taken into account and maintaining the central royal box has been replaced by two ranks, and with a new slanted ceiling construction in the audience was the acoustics, the weakness of the home, improved significantly.
On 14 October 1955 was happening under Adolf Rott the reopening of the restored house on the Ring. For this occasion Mozart’s A Little Night Music was played. On 15 and on 16 In October it was followed by the first performance (for reasons of space as a double premiere) in the restored theater: King Ottokar’s Fortune and End of Franz Grillparzer, staged by Adolf Rott. A few months after the signing of the Austrian State Treaty was the choice of this piece, which explores the beginning of Habsburg rule in Austria and Ottokar of Hornecks eulogy on Austria (… it’s a good country / Well worth that a prince among thread! / where have you already seen the same?… ) contains highly symbolic. Rott and under his successors Ernst Haeusserman and Gerhard Klingenberg the classic Burgtheater style and the Burgtheater German for German theaters were finally pointing the way .
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Burgtheater participated (with other well-known theaters in Vienna) on the so-called Brecht boycott.
Gerhard Klingenberg internationalized the Burgtheater, he invited renowned stage directors such as Dieter Dorn, Peter Hall, Luca Ronconi, Giorgio Strehler, Roberto Guicciardini and Otomar Krejča. Klingenberg also enabled the castle debuts by Claus Peymann and Thomas Bernhard (1974 world premiere of The Hunting Party). Bernhard Klingenberg’s successor was talking, but eventually was appointed Achim Benning, whereupon the writer with the text "The theatrical shack on the ring (how I should become the director of the Burgtheater)" answered.
Benning, the first ensemble representative of the Burgtheater, was appointed Director, continued Klingenberg’s way of Europeanization by other means, brought directors such as Adolf Dresen, Manfred Wekwerth or Thomas Langhoff to Vienna, looked with performances of plays of Vaclav Havel in the then politically separated East and took more account of the public taste .
Directorate Claus Peymann 1986-1999
Under the from short-term Minister of Education Helmut Zilk to Vienna fetched Claus Peymann, director from 1986 to 1999, there was further modernization of the match schedule and staging styles. Moreover Peymann was never at a loss for words for critical messages to the public, a hitherto unusual attitude for Burgtheater directors. Therefore, he and his program met with sections of the audience’s rejection. The largest theater in Vienna scandal since 1945, this when in 1988 conservative politicians and zealots fiercely fought the premiere of Thomas Bernhard’s Heldenplatz (Place of the Heroes) drama. The play deals with the past and illuminates the present management in Austria – with attacks on the then ruling Social Democratic Party – critically. Together with Claus Peymann Bernhard raised after the premiere to a challenge on the stage to applause and boos .
Bernard, to his home country bound in love-hate relationship, prohibited the performance of his plays in Austria before his death in 1989 by will. Peymann , to Bernhard bound in a difficult friendship (see Bernhard’s play Claus Peymann buys a pair of pants and goes eating with me) feared harm for the author’s work, should his pieces precisely in his home not being shown. First, it was through permission of the executor Peter Fabjan – Bernhard’s half-brother – after all, possible the already in the Schedule of the Burgtheater included productions to continue. Finally, shortly before the tenth anniversary of the death of Bernard it came to the revival of the Bernhard piece Before retirement by the opening night director Peymann. The pieces by Bernhard are since continued on the board of the Burgtheater and they are regularly re-released.
In 1993, the sample stage of the castle theater was opened in the arsenal (architect Gustav Peichl) . Since 1999, the castle theater has been run as a limited liability.
Directorate Klaus Bachler 1999-2009
On Peymann followed in 1999 as director Klaus Bachler. He is a trained actor, but was mostly as a cultural manager (director of the Vienna Festival) active. Bachler moved the theater as a cultural event in the foreground and he engaged for this purpose directors such as Luc Bondy, Andrea Breth, Peter Zadek and Martin Kušej.
Were among the unusual "events" of the Directorate Bachler
* The Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries by Hermann Nitsch with the performance of 122 Action (2005 )
* The recording of the MTV Unplugged concert with Die Toten Hosen for the music channel MTV (2005, under the title available only to visit )
* John Irving’s reading from his book at the Burgtheater Until I find you (2006)
* The 431 animatographische (animatographical) Expedition by Christoph Schlingensief and a big event of it under the title of Area 7 – Matthew Sadochrist – An expedition by Christoph Schlingensief (2006).
* Daniel Hoevels cut in Schiller’s Mary Stuart accidentally his throat ( December 2008). Outpatient care is enough.
Jubilee Year 2005
In October 2005, the Burgtheater celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its reopening with a gala evening and the performance of Grillparzer King Ottokar’s Fortune and End, directed by Martin Kušej that had been performed in August 2005 at the Salzburg Festival as a great success. Michael Maertens (in the role of Rudolf of Habsburg ) received the Nestroy Theatre Award for Best Actor for his role in this piece. Actor Tobias Moretti was awarded in 2006 for this role with the Gertrude Eysoldt Ring.
Furthermore, there were on 16th October 2005 the open day on which the 82-minute film "burg/private. 82 miniatures" of Sepp Dreissinger was shown for the first time. The film contains one-minute film "Stand portraits" of Castle actors and guest actors who, without saying a word, try to present themselves as a natural expression. Klaus Dermutz wrote a work on the history of the Burgtheater. As a motto this season was a quotation from Lessing’s Minna von Barn-helm: "It’s so sad to be happy alone."
The Burgtheater to the Mozart Year 2006
Also the Mozart Year 2006 was thought at the Burgtheater. As Mozart’s Singspiel Die Entführung aus dem Serail in 1782 in the courtyard of Castle Theatre was premiered came in cooperation with the Vienna State Opera, the Vienna Festival in May 2006, a new production (directed by Karin Beier ) of this opera to the stage.
Directorate Matthias Hartmann since 2009
Since September 2009, Matthias Hartmann is Artistic Director of the Burgtheater. A native of Osnabrück, he directed the playhouses of Bochum and Zurich. With his directors like Alvis Hermanis, Roland Schimmelpfennig, David Boesch, Stefan Bachmann, Stefan Pucher, Michael Thalheimer and actresses like Dorte Lyssweski, Katharina Lorenz, Sarah Viktoria Frick, Mavie Hoerbiger, Lucas Gregorowicz and Martin Wuttke came firmly to the castle. Matthias Hartmann himself staged around three premieres per season, about once a year, he staged at the major opera houses. For more internationality and "cross-over ", he won the Belgian artist Jan Lauwers and his Need Company as "Artists in Residence" for the castle, the New York group Nature Theater of Oklahoma show their great episode drama live and Times of an annual continuation. For the new look – the Burgtheater presents itself without a solid logo with word games around the BURG – the Burgtheater in 2011 was awarded the Cultural Brand of the Year . www.mariachiproductions.org/basel2012/index.php/tournamen…
Ayrshire, Scotland, 29 May 2011–The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is to hold a Summer Luncheon for members, guests and other Ayrshire business people in the Turnberry Suite at Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort on Friday 10 June at 12.30pm.
Stephen Walker is Director of Sales & Marketing – Turnberry A Luxury Collection Resort, Scotland. Stephen commented: “We are delighted to welcome members of The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle to Turnberry for their June meeting. As an Ayrshire icon and a global business it’s important that we retain strong local links with Ayrshire companies of all sizes, The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and this event provides the ideal platform to achieve this.”
Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors senior partner and Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman Norman Geddes added: “We are delighted to hold our Summer Luncheon at Turnberry, one of the icons of the Ayrshire hospitality and tourism industry, and of the Ayrshire business scene generally.
“This promises to be a memorable occasion in magnificent surroundings.
“Attendance at this event is free.
“As well as members, all Ayrshire business people are welcome to attend. But places are limited, so anyone wishing to join us on Friday 10 June is advised to book by telephoning 01292 281498 as soon as possible and by Thursday 2 June at the very latest.”
Turnberry, A Luxury Collection Resort, Scotland
Turnberry is located on the stunning Ayrshire coast, offering elevated views over the Irish Sea, Ailsa Craig and mountains of Arran and Kintyre. First opened in 1906 as the world’s first golf resort, Turnberry quickly established itself as the premier destination for social and sporting events.
The five red star resort underwent a multi-million pound renovation programme prior to hosting the 2009 Open on its legendary Ailsa golf course and becoming part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts much acclaimed Luxury Collection.
The 198 luxuriously appointed guest rooms include four lavish ocean-view suites and offer a perfect blend of Edwardian tradition and timeless design.
The iconic Ailsa Course is currently ranked as Britain’s number one golf course by leading golf publications and consistently rated within the world’s best. For golfers, there is also the Championship Kintyre Course and the Arran Course, as well as The Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy.
Turnberry is the perfect setting for food lovers, with a choice of unique dining experiences, including the signature restaurant 1906, led by Executive Head Chef Ralph Porciani, which offers classic dishes with a modern twist and a unique Chef’s Table experience. There is also the elegant Grand Tea Lounge, Ailsa Bar & Lounge, Duel in the Sun bar and Tappie Toorie restaurant overlooking the links golf courses and sea beyond.
Turnberry has a well-established reputation for top class meeting and events facilities, specialising in bespoke boardroom experiences. There is also a luxurious spa offering a range of ESPA treatments. The onsite Outdoor Activity Centre offers guests a variety of distinguished outdoor activities including quad biking, horse-riding, fishing and off-road driving.
Turnberry, A Luxury Collection Resort, Scotland is a member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.
THE ELITE AYRSHIRE BUSINESS CIRCLE
The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is an association founded in 2007 by some of the top companies in Ayrshire.
Its purpose is to publicise its members, and to celebrate and promote the wealth and rich diversity of entrepreneurial talent and business excellence that abounds here within the county boundaries of Ayrshire.
Members include the Clydesdale Bank, Ayr Racecourse, Western House Hotel, Turnberry Golf Resort and South Ayrshire Council. Member company activities include broadcasting, building and construction, architectural practice, estate agency and land management, chartered accountancy, insurance broking, legal services, golf club management, marketing services and brand creation, web design and public relations consultancy.
Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors senior partner Norman Geddes is executive chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, and managing director is public relations consultancy Fame Publicity Services proprietor Murdoch MacDonald.
Founder members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle:
Pottering around the lanes a few weeks ago while Mrs B attended to some errand in Bury St Edmunds, I found myself once more coming up the rise towards Rushbrooke. Slowly the low white farm and estate buildings appeared around a bend in the road. The Hamlet was rebuilt between 1955 and 1963, contemporary with the demolition of the Hall, a fine Elizabethan country house belonging to Lord Rothschild. It had become derelict following ill-treatment during the war and had suffered a fire.
The new Hamlet was designed by Richard Llewelyn-Davies and John Weeks. The dwellings, which vary somewhat from a standard plan, are staggered on either side of a spinal wall. Single storey, but with a play room or storage space in the roof. The as yet unrevised Suffolk Pevsner says rendered brick, but it seems to be merely painted.
For five minutes a slight thinning allowed the sun to shine through an opening in the cloud, so I reached around to the back seat and groped for the Olympus. This was some kind of slide film …probably one of the Kodak Ektachromes, but I can’t remember which.
Yesterday Donna and I had just enough time after church (at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles) and before a 3 p.m. concert to make a quick jaunt over to Mar Vista to take a quick look at architect Patrick Tighe’s "Gelner House", which just came on the market listed for sale at $2,995,000. The house is described in the listing as "Patrick Tighe’s vision of the Modern Urban Villa. Situated on an oversized 11,954 sq ft lot, this exquisite home opens to a massive, protected inner compound. The 2-story main house features five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and an expansive open floor plan. A double-height volume defines the main living area where an oversized fireplace rises up and above the roof plane. Strategically placed windows and sliding glass walls frame views of the swimmers pool within a carpet of green landscape. The separate artists studio / guest house consists of a floating white "modernist box" perched above the pool with a wall of glass overlooking both water and gardens. This special home was featured in the MOCA Catalogue, "A new Sculpturism; Contemporary Architecture in Southern California" as well as the Dwell on Design, AIA LA, & Modern Home Tours. The embodiment of Southern California indoor/outdoor lifestyle."
Located at 3672 Inglewood Boulevard in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Please do not use this image in any media without my permission.
Looking southwest at the main (north) entrance to Montana Hall on the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.
Montana State University was created after Bozeman lost a four-way race to be the capital of Montana. As a consolation, the state legislature agreed to found an agricultural college in the city. Local rancher and businessman Nelson C. Story owned the land on which the state capital would have been built, and he donated this land to the state to serve as the university’s campus.
Montana Hall was the second building to be constructed on the campus (the first was the Agricultural Experiment Station, now known as Taylor Hall). John C. Paulsen, State Architect, designed the structure in the Old English vernacular style. The cornerstone was laid on October 21, 1896. The structure was built with compressed red brick and sandstone trim. it is 90 feet long and 28 feet wide, and has four stories and a full basement. The stone foundations are two feet thick, and half exposed above-ground. Interior walls were reinforced with 2-by-4s. The first floor’s exterior walls are 20 inches thick, while the second and third floor’s exterior walls are 16 inches thick. Interior walls are brick, and are 12 inches thick in the basement and first floor, 8 inches thick on the second floor, and 4 inches thick on the third floor. The main entrance is on the north side, and consists of two, eight-foot-tall oak doors set in a brick arch and capped by a fanlight. Single-panel oak doors permit access on the east and west sides. (The east entrance was obliterated by a subsequent addition.) The steeply pitched (66 degrees) roof is gabled, and sports a brick chimney.
Nine stone steps lead up to the main entrance. The president’s office was original in the room east of the vestibule. It featured a marble fireplace. An administrative office occupied the room to the west of the vestibule. In an office in the northeast corner of the building were more administrative offices, while in the northwest corner was the registrar’s office and bookstore. Three large classrooms occupied the length of the south side of the first floor. Nine wooden steps led to the second floor. A hallway running the length of the building gave access to the east and west stairways, which in turn provided access to the basement and third floors.
The library, more offices, and more classrooms occupied the second floor. The auditorium, accessed by the west stairs, occupied 75 percent of the third floor. It was 68 feet wide and 31 feet deep, and flanked on the north and south by small meeting rooms. By 1921, a raised platform was built on the east side, reached by five risers. Behind the platform were five risers leading down to a hallway. The hallway was flanked by large rooms on the north and south, and led to the east stairs. The basement housed more classrooms and offices.
All the internal staircases were wood with oak railings and balustrades. The floors were hardwood, with tile in the vestibule. Walls were plaster over brick, although the vestibule was unplastered decorative brick. Interior doors were oak set in wood frames, and moldings were carved wood.
The structure was electrified from its construction. Electricity was supplied by an experimental generator in the basement. Originally, warm air was circulated throughout the building via flues and a fireplace in the basement. This proved unworkable, however, and steam radiators were installed in the early 1920s.
It was known as Main Building until it was renamed Montana Hall in 1914. When completed in April 1898, Main Hall housed an auditorium (in the upper floor’s loft space) that sat 600, a library, and classrooms and offices for the departments of art, business, domestic science, English, mathematics, mechanical drawing, and modern languages. In the ensuing years, a two-story fireproof vault was added to the southwest corner of the building to house registrar records.
In the 1920s, a curved, unpaved drive led up the hill on the north side of Montana Hall to allow vehicular access. Dusty in the summer and so slick with snow and ice it was not navigable in winter, President Roland Renne had it removed in 1943. (It was one of his first acts as president of the college.) The Montana State Architect subsequently created a plan that turned Garfield Avenue to the south of the building into the main avenue through the campus and the main approach to Montana Hall. The area north of the building became a grassy lawn. The west entrance now because the hall’s main entrance.
Some time in the 1920s or 1930s, a "temporary" one-story wood frame structure was built on the east side of Montana Hall to provide much-needed office space. This structure rendered the east entrance and east stairs unusable.
Montana Hall has played a significant role at MSU. It acts as the center of campus, and its distinctive silhouette is recognized as the symbol of the university. In 1915, engineering students used the steeple of Montana Hall to survey nearby Mount Baldy and position the gigantic white “M” in the the Bridger Mountains. Following Bozeman’s terrible 1927 earthquake, the cupola was removed. (Legend has it that rambunctious students took a cow to the upper floors, and found that the cow would not go down stairs afterwards. So the cupola was removed and the cow lowered to the ground. This is apocryphal.) During the 1993 centennial of Montana State University, a new cupola was installed along with chimes which ran on the hour. A new roof was put on the structure in 2007.
Montana Hall underwent a restoration in 2011. All window panes were replaced with energy-efficient ones. The exterior brick was cleaned of lichen and dirt, mortar repointed, and lead seals applied to vertical brick joints to prevent future water damage.
However, a 2001 engineering study showed that Montana Hall needs at least $21.5 million in major repair. Among these are significant repairs to walls, floors, and other interior fixtures; upgrades to the electrical, HVAC, mechanical, and plumbing systems; adaptive renovations to enhance the lifespan of the building; fix life-threatening safety issues; serious structural repairs to fix sagging walls and floors; bringing the structure up to current building codes; and make it ADA-complaint. (ADA fixes alone would cost $1.5 million.) A $600,000 fire suppression system is also badly needed.
As of 2013, Montana Hall houses the President’s Office, Registrar’s Office, Student Accounts, and other administrative offices.