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Black Building

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1929–1930, Lang, Raugland, Lewis with Braseth and Houkom, consulting architects. 114 N. Broadway
  • (Photograph by Steve C. Martens)

The nine-story Black Building is an outstanding example of Art Deco design by the Minneapolis firm that designed the ashlar limestone First Presbyterian Church (1929, Lang, Raugland, Lewis with William F. Kurke) nearby at 650 2nd Avenue North. The Black Building is remarkable for the financial investment and sacrifice it embodied at the beginning of the Great Depression. Art Deco and Moderne allowed architects a good deal of latitude to delete costly ornamentation, but after considering potential cost-saving strategies, including a proposal to substitute brick for the limestone cladding, the Black Building was completed with an impressive level of embellishment, particularly evident in the geometric motifs of the cast-metal storefronts, the spandrel panels, and the custom engraving of interior elevator entrances. The building continues its mixed-use function, with retail businesses on the lower three floors and offices above.

Writing Credits

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


What's Nearby


Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "Black Building", [Fargo, 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, 35-35.

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