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The Edna

"We can be the guest house of Missoula," said Karen Marsolek, who owns two sixth-floor lofts with her family.

Marsolek said she and her husband, parents and brother collectively purchased two units after they heard the Rocky Mountain Development Group, which bought the Wilma building in late 2007, was selling the former apartments as condos.

Marsolek said she knew from the outset that she wanted the smaller unit to be a tribute to Edna Wilma, namesake of the landmark building.

She convinced the building's owners at the time, Justin Metcalf and Rick Wishcamper, to let her select a crystal chandelier as well as vintage signs during the building's renovation. Red-velvet curtains echo the Wilma theater's original seats.

One day, when she was antique hunting in Stevensville, the shop owner asked if she "was looking for Wilma?"

Marsolek's puzzlement turned to delight when the owner returned with a portrait of Edna Wilma, which she had tucked away.

She gave Marsolek the portrait, which now hangs in the loft.

"It was completely fated that she could come back home," Marsolek said. "I always knew I wanted a Wilma room to pay tribute and honor the space."

She said her family has ties to the theater. She was 8 when she first performed in a musical play on the Wilma's stage - in 1979 with her father and sister. Her husband, Michael, has performed on the stage several times in his world-percussion ensemble, Drum Brothers.

Karen Marsolek jokes that she'll be able to vacation at the loft and escape "all the laundry" at home, while also offering visitors a space that is more than a hotel suite with a kitchenette.

"We wanted someone to be able to stay here for two months and write their novel," she said.

Kitchen before & after
Radiator enclosure
Entryway before & after
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