On December 13, 2019, wooden beams in the roof of the Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre (FMCT)’s Stage at Island Park failed during a performance of A Christmas Carol. With the roof damaged, the exterior walls of the theatre began to heave. FMCT brought in contractors and structural engineers to assess the situation and the building was deemed dangerous, requiring the theatre company to vacate the building immediately. The roof was stabilized, but the theatre remained unusable.
After a thorough review of expenses to make the building safe and any minor improvements, FMCT determined it needed to explore other options. As landowner, the Fargo Park District included the considerations for performance space as part of its 2022 Island Park Master Plan which concurred with the need for demolition of the existing structure in favor of future outdoor alternatives. As such, demolition of the building at Island Park will begin this week.
The Emma K. Herbst Playhouse was an icon of community partnership and represented the very best of what people have to give. The Fargo Park District is thankful to the FMCT community for their partnership over the 55 years the organization called Island Park their home.