Same As It Ever Was: Renovation in the works for Reid’s/Power Mercantile building

Charlie Denison

Power Mercantile business owner Lisa Wright is working with local construction companies to make the building look like it did in the early 1900s again (as shown in this photo).
Photo courtesy of Lisa Wright

Major renovations for the Power Mercantile Building are under way. Building owner Lisa Wright expects the building to be ready for renters come late spring/early summer. 
Photo by Charlie Denison

“What’s going on at the Reid’s building?”

This is a question many have asked in the New Year, as the Reid’s building (302 W Main Street) – also known as the Power Mercantile Building – is under construction.

“We are replacing the current storefront with a reproduction of the original storefront,” building owner Lisa Wright told the News-Argus Tuesday. “This week we are taking out the glass; then we’ll be taking out some of the walls, flooring and more.”

The construction team will then restore the building, putting in new walls, new floors, new windows and new masonry.

“I’m really excited to see the finished storefront,” Wright said, adding that she estimates it will be done in late June/early July.

In order to recreate what the Power Mercantile used to be, Wright and the crew she’s hired are working off the original 1901 blueprint, which largely emphasizes glass.

“The building used to be glass all the way up to the masonry,” Wright said. “That’s what we will be doing again.”

Wright said this is an intensive, expensive project, and it’s also vital, and she hopes reviving one of Main Street’s most significant buildings also helps revive Lewistown’s downtown.

“The Power Mercantile building is a big chunk of the heart of downtown,” she said. “Having it empty was sad. I think having it usable again is really important.”

Although there are currently no businesses contracted to open up in the Power Mercantile building, Wright said she is optimistic businesses will come following the renovation, which began just before New Year’s Eve.

Almost all construction companies involved with the makeover are local, with exceptions to some wood milling and flooring work.

“We are really trying to make this a Montana project,” Wright said. “We’re working hard on sourcing that and keeping our money in Montana.”






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