The Viets Hotel was the oldest retail establishment in Grand Forks. It had weathered many floods and grown old somewhat less than gracefully. Its porch sagged, its paint was peeling and the flood of ’97 left it full of mud and trash. Most people saw little to save about the old hotel.
Wanda and Bill Graveline saw past what others saw. They saw pure lines and charm and history. They envisioned a future for the Viets Hotel that would restore its beauty and usefulness, and they put their vision to the test. Together, Bill and Wanda traveled the country looking for comparable properties, interviewing owners, and developing plans. They researched the history of the Viets. They spent countless hours and significant dollars on meetings, proposals, marketing plans and moving estimates. They put up with frustration and delays. And then the Viets Hotel burned to the ground.
For their singular dedication to preserving this uniquely important piece of our history, the Grand Forks Historic Preservation Commission presents the Alexander Griggs Award to Bill and Wanda Graveline.