HELENA — Two past Montana governors have called the Samuel T. Hauser Mansion home, and soon another one will too. Governor Greg Gianforte and his wife, Susan, recently bought the home at 720 Madison Ave. in Helena and plan to move in during the summer.
The current governor’s mansion has been sitting empty since 2021 pending renovations. The governor told MTN News he chose to buy the home as a place to live through his tenure, and as a place to bring Montanans together.
“I said I would make our home a home of hospitality,” Gianforte said. “We tend to entertain people every night when we are in Helena.”
According to the Montana Historical Society, the Hauser Mansion was built in 1885 by Samuel T. Hauser, the same year he was appointed territorial governor. The house was purchased by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, and Bishop John P. Carroll lived there from 1913 until his death in 1925. In 1969, the home was sold to former Governor Tim Babcock.
“Helena has such a rich history in these large homes,” Gianforte said.
Gianforte noted that features of the Hauser Mansion make it an ideal location and “warm environment” to host and bring people together—including a first floor with high ceilings, hardwood floors and fireplaces.
Real estate website, Zillow, previously listed the home at more than $6 million. The Gianfortes purchased the home using their own funds.
“It was a personal decision,” Gianforte said.
According to our previous reporting, the Montana Legislature appropriated more than $2.3 million dollars in funding to renovate the current governor’s mansion, but bids returned for the renovation work necessary have been almost double that appropriated amount.
Gianforte described the current governor’s mansion as “a little long in the tooth,” and said he feels it is “not clear” spending money to renovate it is the best use of taxpayer dollars.
“I think we should be stingy with spending taxpayer money,” Gianforte said.
The Gianfortes plan to live in the Hauser Mansion through the governor’s time in office, then gift it to the state. The state will then decide whether to accept the home.