THE COMO SHOPS
The Essence Event Center is nestled inside The Chimneys, a building rich with history that predates even Bandana Square.
Built in 1895, The Chimneys were part of a service area for the Northern Pacific Railway called The Como Shops. The building’s iconic chimney smokestacks are a remaining clue to its’ origins as a bustling blacksmith shop. Long ago, trains were driven directly through the front doors for repairs and out the back once work was completed. The large arches now make for an imposing and dramatic entrance, but at the time were necessary to fit gigantic locomotives through the building. The high ceilings and large windows were instrumental in letting in as much natural light as possible to make the complex work less dangerous.
Over the years Bandana Square has evolved to include hotels, restaurants, museums, and shops. In 1985 the surviving buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Chimneys building was purchased in 2018 and has been transformed by a family owned business to host events as The Essence Event Center for years to come.
Historical Information and images supplied by: