The Teslow Preservation Group’s Mission: Preserve. Repurpose. Reintegrate.
Livingston’s iconic Teslow grain elevator was under demolition in 2016 after a severe storm blew off a large portion of the roof. Horrified by the thought of losing a building so crucial to their town’s history and skyline, a small group of citizen activists quickly organized under the rallying cry “Save the Teslow!” in what became a nail-biting cliffhanger for all involved.
With community support and that of key individuals and the press, Team Teslow, as the group called themselves, managed to halt demotion, then purchase the 100-year old building, while also making repairs to it’s high house. One year later, on a blustery February day, local companies and angel donors gave the Teslow a new roof. It was a crowning achievement in historic building preservation that secured the Teslow from further weather damage and Livingston’s wily pigeons. It also won Team Teslow, by then organized as The Teslow Preservation Group, a 501(c)(3), the 2017 Montana State Preservation Office award for Outstanding Preservation Advocacy. But the cliff-hanger’s not yet over!
The Teslow has a past. Now it needs a future. The mission of the Teslow Preservation Group is to not only keep the Teslow standing and preserve it’s increasingly rare architecture, but to reintegrate the building into the community by allowing it to be repurposed.
As a stunning example of vernacular architecture, the Teslow is a monument to the industries that built Livingston: farming, ranching, and the rail road. The towering silver “prairie skyscraper” reflects sunrises and sunsets to the delight of artists and all passer’s by. Sadly, grain elevators such as the Teslow are vanishing at an alarming rate across agricultural America. This makes the Teslow all the more unique and valuable each year it stands.
It’s economically valuable too. For a town that relies heavily on destination tourism to drive its economy, the Teslow is an asset. It joins the ranks of buildings like the Depot, the Murray, and the Livingston Bar and Grill—all of which have been repurposed—as part of Livingston’s rich architectural diversity and beauty. It’s a vital part of Livingston’s heritage and should be for generations to come.
To this end, the Teslow Preservation Group is conducting a feasibility study, and—pending funding—continuing major repairs and implementing clean up of debris and animal impact (pigeons and mice), as well as working with our community, developers, and investors to envision the building’s future. The Teslow has great potential to becomes a sustainable and integral part of the downtown business district.
We are grateful for your ideas, your willingness to spread the news, and for every contribution you make: monetarily, in-kind, or through your connections and creativity. The Teslow Preservation Group is a 501C-3 Non-profit organization. We accept donations to help via our website, or checks can be mailed to:
The Teslow Preservation Group
P.O. Box 2101
Livingston, MT 59047
Thank you for your time, enthusiasm and support!
Original Team Teslow… Audrey Hall, Barclay Rogers, Debi Hopper, Melanie Nashan, Ron Nemetz, and Seonaid B. Campbell
Current Teslow Preservation Group: Lara Birkes, Seonaid B. Campbell, Audrey Hall, Susan Henshaw Jones, Ron Nemetz, Stewart Parker, Barclay Rogers.