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Block 6 (O. J. DeLendrecie Department Store)
The lower two stories of this building, constructed in 1894, are Richardsonian Romanesque. By contrast, the upper three stories added in 1904 reveal the impact of the newly popular classical styles. At ground level a central cast-iron bay afforded entrance to the department store, which had a full-height open sales floor. The first story also features large display windows with elaborate transoms and above them a continuous red sandstone sill course sets off the upper story’s separate office function. Brickwork on the upper stories is especially crisp and rich in its details. The iron-spotted medium brown brick has finely buttered mortar joints tinted red. End pavilions are subtly suggested by the slight projection of the building’s corners. On the top floor, pairs of round-arched windows have brick voussoirs with exaggerated keystones of red Wisconsin sandstone. The building’s renovation included modern apartment buildings added to the south half of the building’s city block. One of these less distinguished additions invokes the name of an architectural landmark that once occupied the site—the famous Art Deco Crystal Ballroom, where local promoter and entrepreneur Ralph “Doc” Chinn booked performances that included Duke Ellington. A surreptitious sound recording, discovered years later, was released in 1978 as the Grammy Award-winning Duke Ellington Live at Fargo, 1940.
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