In 1988, Neighborhood Housing Services held its Annual Meeting and Ice Cream Social. Over 80 residents of all ages attended, and John Bulen, then NHS President, presented the 1988 awards for property improvements in the Original Townsite. Recipients of the awards included the following individuals and businesses:
Most Improved Residential Property: Reverend & Mrs. Allen Adler (610 Eighth Avenue S
This large Victorian home was originally owned by the man who began The Paris of Montana Department Store, known as The Bon Marche in 1988. The house had fallen into disrepair, and the Adlers renovated the inside for a number of years. They re-roofed, painted the exterior and restored the porches.
Most Improved Commercial Property: Falls Home Furnishings (106 First Avenue S)
Falls Home Furnishings has made interior changes and completed some attractive facade improvements. The addition of an awning and planter has brightened the corner of the paved cutoff to Second Street from First Avenue South.
Most Improved Rental Property: Mr. & Mrs. Les Haugen (13 Seventh Street North)
This rental property was originally the Nilson-Smith Apartments. Later, a small motel was added on the corner, and both properties had become eyesores. The Haugens were commended for undertaking the removal of the motel and the rehabilitation of the apartment building.
Since 1988, NeighborWorks Great Falls has given out more than 100 Most Improved Awards to homeowners, business owners, and rental property owners who have invested in this community and continue to do so. Some award winners over the years include Fritz Seitz (1991), Rich & Carol Ecke (1992), Steve Faherty (1997), DA. Davidson & Company (2000), Broadwater Station (2008), Gary Hackatt (2013), and Great Falls Rescue Mission Cameron Family Center (2017).
The Most Improved Awards have been so important to our organization over the decades. These awards are a visual representation of people who care about Great Falls in the same way we do, and we hope to continue awarding those in our community for years to come!