A Look Around Downtown Fargo

An historic walking tour that features prominent buildings that contribute to the beauty and elegance of downtown Fargo's Historic District.

A Look Around Downtown Fargo

Fargo, North Dakota 58105, United States

Created By: North Dakota State University

Tour Information

Although many of Fargo's historic buildings have been lost to fires, urban renewal and other circumstances, the city is still fortunate to have so many fine buildings that remain. This tour is intended to foster an appreciation for downtown Fargo's historic buildings and to offer a glimpse Fargo's history.

Many of the buildings included on the tour are part of the Downtown Fargo Historic District which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

The tour is designed to be walked at a leisurely pace and can be completed in one hour or less.

Disclaimer: Please use caution when taking our walking tour. Look up from your mobile device often and be aware of your surroundings. Be courteous to other pedestrians using the side walks and when you must cross the street, use the crosswalks. We are not responsible for any accidents or injuries attained while using this application.

This tour has been brought to you by Ian Godfrey, Mickelle Owens & Emily Kulzer.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

The south wing of the historic Watkins building is located at 802 Main Avenue, Fargo. It was designed in 1884 by architect Charles Daniel. The building's first owner, Andrew McHench had the building constructed to house Masonic Lodge Shiloh... Read more
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 compa... Read more
The Edwards Building, currently occupied by The Old Broadway, was built in 1900 by businessman Alex Stern. Stern constructed the building to fill the lot that was left vacant after the Fargo Fire of 1893. He named it after Major Alanson Ed... Read more
The Fargo National Bank building that you see today was built to replace a wood, two story building that had been built in the late 1880's. The original building does not have much history to it besides the fact that it had previously h... Read more
The building at 521 1st Avenue North, now known as the Hotel Donaldson, was built in 1894 by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows as a meeting hall. It is one of the earliest post-fire buildings in Fargo. The hall provided a much needed mee... Read more
The Fargo Forum serves as the primary newspaper for the region. The current building was constructed in 1926 at the corner of Fifth Street and First Avenue North. The design of the building is Art Deco composed of steel and concrete and was... Read more
Fargo City Hall was originally built as an add-on to the Fargo Fire Department building in 1885. This building was located at Northern Pacific Ave. and North Roberts Street. City Hall stayed here until 1910 when it moved into its own buildi... Read more
The Ford Motor Company built an assembly plant in downtown Fargo at 505 Broadway in 1914. The Chicago School style building was designed by Ford's head architect, John Graham of Seattle,Washington. The building had show rooms and a garage o... Read more
The First Lutheran Church at 619 Broadway was built in 1919 after a merger between First Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church and St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church. The English Gothic Revival style church was built by Minneapolis arch... Read more
St. Mary's Cathedral was built in 1899 as the Catholic Church in Fargo. The property also contains the Bishop's Residence as today the Cathedral also serves as the seat of the  Catholic Diocese of Fargo. The church was designed by Edward P... Read more
The Bismarck Tavern is among the oldest bars in Fargo. It was opened in 1937 by Stanley C. and Ruth Peterson at 516 Broadway as The Bismarck Liquor Store and Cafe. Between 1945 and 1947, the Peterson’s moved their business to its current ... Read more
Construction of the Fargo Theatre began on September 15, 1925. It is located on the former site of a fruit store known as the Idlekope Building. When the Fargo Theatre was completed six months later in March 1926, it became Fargo’s premi... Read more
The Loretta Building was built in two phases by businessmen and former Mayor Peter Elliott. The first phase of the building (now known as south portion) was completed in 1909. Peter named this building after his youngest daughter, Loretta E... Read more
Merchants State Bank opened on the corner of Broadway and N.P. Avenue on July 8, 1890. The building was completely destroyed three years later in the Fargo Fire of 1893. A new bank was built on the same site and business continued as usu... Read more
  George Black, son of an Irish immigrant came to Fargo in 1912 to open a dry goods store. He and his father founded a store and their business flourished. In 1929, after the stock market crash, Black decided to build a new facility for hi... Read more
The Pioneer Life Insurance Company incorporated in 1907. The company built this four story brick office building was built in 1910. The insurance company left the building in around the year 1917 but the building remained the home to other ... Read more
First Presbyterian Church in Fargo was founded in 1877 with a congregation of nine people. With no church building, the built a small wooden shack on a small parcel of land donated by SG Roberts at the corner of 1st Ave and 8th Street North... Read more
Today the Federal Building and Main Post Office are in the same building in downtown Fargo on 2nd Ave North between Roberts and 7th St. The building you see today is a remodeled look of the originally building that was built in 1930. From 1... Read more
The Gardner Hotel, which opened in 1909, was once considered Fargo’s premiere hotel. The hotel was completely planned, built and financed by Fargoans. It was designed by Fargo Architects the Hancock Brothers and cost $150,000 to build. Th... Read more
With the bonanza farms of Fargo and the Red River Valley producing vast amounts of grain crops for the Minneapolis market, the International Harvester Company decided to establish a farm implement dealership and distribution center in Fargo... Read more


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