Frequently Asked Questions

Authorization – The Grand Forks Historic Preservation Commission was established by City ordinance (Chap. 17, Article 3, GF City Code of 1987) in 1982.  It is charged with “preservation, protection and regulation of buildings, sites, monuments, structures, and areas of historic interest or importance within the City of Grand Forks” among other things. 

Certified Local Government (CLG) – A cost effective local, state and federal partnership with the National Park Service, the State Historic Preservation Office and the City.  Provides a vehicle for receipt of federal funds to support local preservation projects.  Our grants have been used to:

  • Computerize building permits from 1900 to 1950
  • Conduct many historic architectural surveys including most of the Old Town as well as Midcentury housing throughout the city
  • Conduct a historic architecture survey of the University of North Dakota campus (with partial funding from UND)
  • Place interpretive plaques on buildings which are on the National Register of Historic Places or other historic assets
  • Nominate five historic districts and several individual properties to the National Register of Historic Places

Granitoid – Special transition pavement installed in GF at the turn of the 20th Century to provide traction for both automobiles and horses.  It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1991, and has been a factor in preventing the widening of 4th Avenue South.  Several portions of the Granitoid have recently been delisted due to deterioration.

Historic Districts – There are five historic districts in Grand Forks at this time:  the Near Southside, Downtown, Riverside, Baukol and the University of North Dakota.  Historic districts DO NOT negatively affect an owner’s rights in any way.  Historic districts CAN provide tax incentives for business and rental properties but not for private home owners (in ND). 

National Register Status – Does not negatively affect an owner’s rights in any way (see YELLOW handout).  Most local properties on the NRHP were placed on the list because of the exterior appearance of the building; in many instances the interior of the building is not historic and that is not a factor in the determination of eligibility.  However, changes to the exterior of the property could cause it to be delisted. We can provide information about researching and nominating a property. 

GF County Historical Society – Totally separate from GFHPC.  A non-profit organization supporting the Campbell House, Myra Museum and other historic buildings on its campus at 2405 Belmont Road.  The County Historic Society has no regulatory authority.

Historic Tax Credits – In ND, available only to income-producing buildings.  10% – 20% tax credits available depending upon project.  Application forms available from our office or by requesting information from the SHSND.  More information:

House Moves – Moved houses, associated with post-flood work, have been 50 or more years old and architecturally intact.  They are not necessarily beautiful but they are representative of a time or of a type of architecture which should continue to be represented in the city.  They are also structurally sound and it has been feasible to move them through city streets and tree canopies.  The funding for the moves has been from federal monies set aside as a revolving fund:  as houses are moved and sold the purchase price is then used to moved more houses, etc.  Many moves have been accomplished through non-profit agencies such as Easter Seals; no local tax dollars are involved in these moves.  Flood-associated house moves were completed in 2004.

Lustron House – formerly 602 Lincoln Drive.  One of only two known Lustron houses in GF; the other has been resided and is not recognizable.  About 4000 steel, modular Lustron houses were manufactured following WWII.  The manufacturer converted his airplane factory to build housing for returning GIs who were starting families.  The Lustron is indicative of a time and architecture which is underrepresented in GF and is a reminder of the boom following WWII.  A combination of FEMA and HUD funds were used to dismantle and reconstruct the house.  The house is now located on the County Historical Society grounds. 

Renaissance Zone – A combined federal/state/local plan for tax credits/tax exemption which affects a 23-block area in and near downtown Grand Forks.  The Community Development office administers the plan.