Published August 27 2011
Oak Grove neighborhood being considered for listing on National Register of Historic Places
The North Dakota State Historic Preservation Review Board agreed Friday to forward the nominations, along with one for a Burleigh County school, to the National Park Service for consideration.
The Fargo Oak Grove Residential Neighborhood Historic District’s nomination is focused around North and South Terrace, bounded on the east by Short Street North and on the west by Elm Street North.
Oak Grove homeowner Carol Pearson said state approval is good news.
“To me, one of the unique aspects of the nomination is that it was in regards to a neighborhood that wasn’t necessarily a high-end neighborhood,” she said “It was more working class, middle class in contrast to the neighborhoods that are already considered historic and are more high end.”
Pearson said state board approval acknowledges the middle-class Oak Grove neighborhood and its smaller homes.
“It’s one of the few neighborhoods that have really maintained its sense of neighborhood, community,” she said. “As a neighborhood, it’s really maintained itself in the face of adversity in the form of floods and encroachment in the form of the school.”
The nomination states that the Oak Grove residential neighborhood took shape and took on its present architectural character as a range of middle-income houses and related infrastructure from 1895 to 1952. The predominance of working-class, gable-fronted mechanics’ cottages and vernacular bungalows is a reflection of consumer tastes during this time period.
Here are the other recommended sites with information from their nominations:
- Green Consolidated School No. 99 near Valley City. This site is considered to be the best-preserved open-country consolidated school in North Dakota. An open-country school means it was built away from a community with a railroad depot.
The school educated students from 1916 until 1974 and since then has been used as a community center. The school met all of the state standards for education, and the building gives physical testimony to what those standards were during the time the school operated.
- The B’nai Israel Synagogue and Montefiore Cemetery in Grand Forks. The synagogue is said to combine the design of master architect Joseph Bell DeRemer and his Grand Forks firm with the culturally distinct customs and traditions of the Hebrew community. It also exemplifies the art deco work he and his son designed in the 1930s.
The cemetery is distinct for the customs and burial traditions of the Jewish population. It also hosts the remains of several prominent citizens.
- Florence Lake School No. 3 near Wing. The school was originally built as Sterling School No. 2 in 1917 but was moved to Florence Lake Township in 1937 after the earlier school burned. This small prairie schoolhouse has unusual architectural details that recall the classical style.
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s list of properties considered worthy of preservation, a news release said. North Dakota now has about 400 listings, said Lorna Meidinger, the state’s National Register coordinator.
Whether the sites are approved will be determined in the next several months, but it’s rare for a North Dakota site to be rejected, said Erik Sakariassen of Bismarck, president of the state review board.
Forum reporter Wendy Reuer contributed to this report
Teri Finneman is a multimedia reporter for Forum Communications Co.