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Published August 27 2011

Oak Grove neighborhood being considered for listing on National Register of Historic Places

BISMARCK – A Fargo neighborhood, a Grand Forks synagogue and cemetery, and a Barnes County school will be considered for listings in the 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:

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.