Downtown's grid, which extends only two or three blocks in each direction from the central intersection of Jefferson and Adams streets, has been termed the President's Grid, as most of its streets are named to honor U.S. presidents. In April 1876, a fire virtually destroyed the area, but it was soon rebuilt. In 1997 the Fairmont Downtown Historic District was entered on the National Register of Historic Places. Debra Ball McMillan's An Ornament to the City, published in 1996, provides a full discussion and description of downtown Fairmont.
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