The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives has called the Quartz Street fire station home since 1981. Built in 1900, the firehall features three garage bays and a metal tower above the roof of the building used for hanging and drying the fire hoses. The fire station provided living accommodations for the Fire Chief and his family, as well as a dormitory for the twenty-two firemen. Chief Jack McCarthy, the station’s last chief to live in the building, and his wife raised their eight children in the small living quarters. The Quartz Street station, home to Butte Fire Department No. 1, closed in 1976 when a new fire station at Montana and Mercury Streets was opened.
In 1979, plans were made to establish an archive in the abandoned firehall. Numerous improvements were made to the building including rewiring, replumbing, insulating, heating, and installing a fire alarm system. Other structural improvements such as replacing the roof, the boiler, and improving the facade were made in 1992. In 1996, the Archives received a grant to install much-needed shelving to house the collections, prior to which were stored on the floor in the basement.
The Archives greatest success came in 2007 when a $7.5 million dollar bond issue to improve the building was presented to the public and passed with overwhelming support. The bond issue allowed the Archives to rehabilitate the historic firehouse and add an addition to the east of the building, which would include two archival vaults and a meeting space for the public. The Archives opened the new and improved building to the public in 2010.