The was the most elaborate structure on the upper Missouri River during the peak of the fur trade. Guided by elegant and detailed drawings of the artist Rudolph Frederich Kurz, an 1866 photograph of the house by William Illingworth, and archeological excavations, the National Park Service has reconstructed it to its 1851 grandeur. However only the floor plans can be documented in the historical record, which precluded reconstruction of the interior space.
The first house was a more simple French Colonial design. In 1843, Bourgeois Edward Denig wrote; "it is 78 feet front, 24 feet depth, and a story and a half high." He continued, "the piazza (porch) in front adds much to the comfort and appearance." During the winter of 1850, the Upper Missouri Outfit remodeled the house into a classical revival structure, adding a full second floor and the two story porch to express the company's American roots.