Architect, Griggs Award recipient, 2022
The Alexander Griggs Award recognizes exceptional effort to preserve Grand Forks’ built and cultural history. It is named for Captain Alexander Griggs, our city’s founder. Honorees are selected by the Grand Forks Historic Preservation Commission, and recipients’ names are added to the permanent plaque that hangs in Council Chambers.
Architect Bill Schoen, of Schoen Associates, is a deserving recipient of this award. His vision and sensitivity to the character of old buildings, and their adaptive reuse are seen in the transformation of many of our historic buildings from the Great Northern Depot, the Freight House Apartments, Old Town on South 3rd St and Roosevelt Apartments just to name a few. Together with his business partner, Jim Kobetsky and his talented employees and consultants, these projects thoughtfully and carefully converted, and in several cases, saved, some of the City’s earliest infrastructure creating new and unique spaces for businesses and residents.
Schoen Associates has also left its mark on UND’s campus as well as a number of regional and interstate projects from Minnesota to Las Vegas and New York. While it is not possible to list every project, it is fair to say that Bill Schoen has made a consequential and lasting impact on the history and culture of our City. Schoen Associates has been recognized with numerous architectural and beautification awards for this work.