Originally the Post Exchange and Post Headquarters, this building served as a recreation hall for soldiers stationed at Fort Missoula. The exchange evolved from the post trader's store, an integral element in early forts where the men could buy staples and supplies. As early as 1888, the post exchange or canteen had replaced the post trader's store. In time the post headquarters began to carry food, clothing, jewelry, personal effects, gifts and other items so that personnel could shop for almost any occasion without leaving the post.
Built in 1906 for $21,800, the building served as the Post Exchange until 1962 when it became the Post Headquarters. Under the army's sell/lease program, the Naval Reserve training center was located here. The building has since housed Forest Service personnel, the U.S. Army facilities manager, the Montana Natural History Center, and now the Vital Ground Foundation.
This property contributes to the Fort Missoula Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior in cooperation with the Montana Historical Society.
Besides the office space occupied by the Vital Ground Foundation, T-2 houses Heritage Hall [the former gymnasium] at the mid level. Downstairs includes the Svoboda Room, which exhibits Missoula postcards from the Svoboda Collection, a kitchen, dressing room and lavatories. The building is dedicated to Walter M. Johnson.