Created By: North Dakota State University
NDSU's Renaissance Hall on the corner of NP Avenue and 8th Street and began as the Robb-Lawrence building. It was designed by architect William C. Albrant. The building was completed in July of 1903 and cost $40,000. The Robb-Lawrence company were manufacturer's agents and wholesalers for agricultural implements like wagons, wind mills, cultivators, plows, buggies, trucks, trailers, pumps and harrows. Also housed in the building was Hall-Robertson Wholesale Hardware Company. Robb-Lawrence went bankrupt in 1905 after only 2 years in business, but Hall-Robertson Wholesale occupied the building until 1912.
In 1913, Stone-Ordean-Wells a wholesale grocery company came and remained until 1922. Northern School Supply co-leased in 1914 and ultimately purchased the building in 1920. The building was home to many businesses besides Northern School supply. The list includes: Sampson Tractor, Chevrolet Motor Company, Fargo Paper, Fargo Glass and Paint, Swiggum Brokerage, and Dacotah Paper.
After being home to Northern School Supply for 83 years, School Specialty, Inc. of Appleton, Wisconsin purchased the building in 1997. In 2000, the School Specialty company announced it's plans to demolish the building. It narrowly missed the wrecking ball. North Dakota State University alumni Doug Burgum's company Kilbourne Group bought the building from the Appleton, Wisc. company in 2001 and donated it to North Dakota State University Development Foundation.
In 2002, NDSU hired Michael J. Burns Architect Ltd. to aid in the renovation project. It the building was renamed Renaissance Hall in 2008 and became the first significant piece in NDSU's downtown campus.
This point of interest is part of the tour: A Look Around Downtown Fargo