Take a Self-guided Audio Tour of Downtown Fargo’s Historic Buildings
The Fargo Underground Downtown Audio Walking Tour offers two self-guided walking tour routes of historic Fargo accompanied by audio narration featuring 57 historic buildings. Many of the buildings are part of the Downtown Fargo Historic District which was listed in 1983, and for those buildings it will be noted whether they are contributing to the district. A building is considered to be contributing if it adds to the historic associations or architectural qualities of the historic district. A building with the “pivotal” notation is exceptional, and would be eligible for individual listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
Some buildings are already individually listed in the National Register, and that is noted as well.
The Northern Route of the Downtown Fargo Audio Walking Tour begins and ends at The Great Northern Depot at 425 Broadway.
In May 2006, the City of Fargo, through a grant from the State Historical Society of North Dakota, published an updated version of the “Look Around Downtown” brochure that was first printed in 1985. This free brochure is in the form of a self-guided walking tour that showcases 57 of downtown Fargo’s historic buildings on both a north route and a south route. In addition, there are nine other points of interest included in the brochure but not on the actual walking tour. Watch for tour route markers on many of the buildings!
The 2006 booklet was printed in limited numbers, and our supply quickly ran out. In May 2007, with a grant from the Fargo Moorhead Heritage Society, the City of Fargo printed 10,000 revised copies of the new brochure. “Look Around Downtown” is now available at all three Fargo Public Library locations.
In the fall of 2007, the City of Fargo, through a grant from the State Historical Society of North Dakota, produced a recorded narrative for the “Look Around Downtown” walking tour brochure. It is narrated by Merrill Piepkorn, and each location can be played from one of the two tour routes.
The booklet was inspired by and borrows much from an earlier “Look Around Downtown” brochure that was published in 1985 by the Fargo Moorhead Heritage Society. Because the downtown area has undergone many changes over the past twenty years, the Fargo Historic Preservation Commission decided to undertake the creation of a new publication that would reflect the current state of the downtown area. In 2005, the Commission was awarded a grant from the State Historical Society of North Dakota to develop and publish this booklet.
In the spring of 2006, 1,500 copies of this booklet were printed. Those copies were distributed in less than a week due to high demand. The Fargo Moorhead Heritage Society generously helped to fund this reprinting of 10,000 copies in spring 2007.
The Fargo Moorhead Heritage Society also funded the purchase of the building placards that identify buildings on the walking tours.
The brochure was developed by Claire Strom, Christine Kloubec, and Dawn Mayo, with the assistance of Paul Gleye, David Shultz, and Daryl Bachmeier for some of the architectural descriptions. Layout and editing services were provided by Heather Mitzel. Photos of existing buildings were taken by Bill Kloubec of Heliostudio. Special thanks is given to the NDSU Institute for Regional Studies for its research assistance and the cover photo.