Historic Preservation

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cityhall1912 

City Hall Circa 1912                                                            

The post-flood recovery process included an evaluation of the damage and the potential for

salvaging or preserving Grand Forks’ historic treasures. Although some structures ultimately

were lost, many were saved. Here are a few of the historic preservation successes in the

aftermath of the 1997 flood and fire:

South Junior High School South_Junior_High_Schoo

 1224 Walnut Street

Built in 1932 in the Collegiate Gothic style. Sustained more than 50 percent damage

from flood. Evacuated by school district. Placed on National Register of Historic Places

(NRHP) and converted to low-moderate income housing. Has charming sculptures of

children reading classic books over entrances on Walnut.

Reeves Drive

 East side between Fourth and Eighth Avenues South

Homes threatened with demolition or removal in order to provide land for a new flood

protection levee. Residents and the Grand Forks Historic Preservation Commission

saved the structures because of persistent questioning of the U.S. Army Corps of

Engineers. The street now anchors the Near Southside Historic District, listed on the

National Register of Historic Places.

Thomas D. Campbell House campbellhouse

 2405 Belmont Road

Circa 1879. Built by the parents of “The Wheat King.” The house and grounds were

threatened with removal to make room for the new flood protection levee. Both were

saved through extensive negotiations with the Corps of Engineers that resulted in the

acquisition of land to relocate outbuildings. The house was moved westward on the

property. The National Register of Historic Places agreed that the move was necessary

and the house continues to be listed on the Register.

Boomtown Building

 216 S. 3rd St. (moved from 201 S. 3rd St.)

Circa 1884. One of the last two extant wooden buildings from the first flush of town

development in the late 1870s and early 1880s. This building was moved across the

street from its original location to make room for the flood protection levee. It is listed

on the National Register as contributing to the Downtown Grand Forks Historic District.

Third Street from Kittson to University Avenue

Historic “Main Street” of Grand Forks that faced possible demolition. Initial flood protection

project plans showed construction of a new levee down the middle of the street, requiring

that everything on the west side be demolished to accommodate the new flood-control

structure. Extensive negotiations resulted in the building of a floodwall behind the buildings,

saving much of the historic fabric of downtown and providing the basis for the Downtown

Historic District.