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Cathedral Hill Residential District

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c. 1900–1945. Bounded by N. 1st and N. Hannifan sts. and West A and C aves.

The Cathedral Hill Residential District (or Hill District) is Bismarck’s most significant residential neighborhood, with heavily canopied streets providing a lush ambience to the district. This neighborhood was the preferred location for Bismarck’s most prominent and influential twentieth-century leaders. Houses in the district are predominantly two-story single-family dwellings designed in a variety of styles including Shingle Style and Colonial and Tudor revivals, but there also are bungalows. Prairie School influence is evident, especially in two houses designed by the firm of Purcell, Feick and Elmslie (BL12, BL13).

Clyde Young, who practiced law in Bismarck for fifty-four years, chose Tudor Revival for his house (1914) at 220 W. Avenue B. In 1931, Minot architects Bugenhagen and Molander remodeled the house (1910) at 232 W. Avenue A in an applique version of Tudor Revival for its new owner, George D. Mann, who also owned the Bismarck Tribune newspaper. In 1906, retail lumber dealer Otis Dunham built a bungalow (114 W. Avenue A) that was later sold to grassroots politician William Langer, who occupied it until his election as governor of North Dakota in 1932. This early bungalow influenced the construction in the first two decades of the twentieth century of several other bungalows.

Dunham also built the district’s best Colonial Revival house (1916) at 204 W. Avenue B, which was designed by Minneapolis architect Albert R. Van Dyke. The popularity of Colonial Revival is reflected in 100 W. Avenue A (1908) designed by architect Arthur W. Van Horn for Henry J. Geirman, general manager of the Bismarck district office of International Harvester. Another Colonial Revival house (1908; 224 W. Avenue A) was built for Robert Orr, president of the Bismarck Building and Loan Association. The Orr house was later occupied by John Burke, three-term governor, chief justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court, and secretary of the U.S. Treasury from 1913 to 1921.

Writing Credits

Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay


What's Nearby


Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "Cathedral Hill Residential District", [Bismarck, North Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of North Dakota

Buildings of North Dakota, Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 196-196.

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