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Freighthouse Apartments are housed in what used to be the Great Northern Freight Warehouse and Depot in Grand Forks, ND. This one story yellow brick building consists of 18 container doors. It also has a partial basement. The Great Northern Freight Warehouse and Depot was originally built in 1904 by the Great Northern Railroad during the Second Dakota Boom. This was a period of time in which there was much increased wholesale and retail activity, and helped to secure Grand Forks the economic role of being a major distribution center for all of Northwestern North Dakota.

Exterior of building

Sky, Building, Plant, Cloud

Current Freighthouse Apartments Sign

World, Sky, Font, Tree

The foundation of the building was constructed from stone as well as concrete. On the exterior, one can see the walls of the building entirely made of a common yellow brick, and it has a rolled asphalt roof. On the north side of the building, wood braces support 10 foot long overhangs off the building. On all other sides, the overhangs are shorter and do not require any extra support.

Inside the building, the space was split up into two areas. These were the office headhouse, and the freight storage area. The partial basement was used for mechanical and other utilitarian purposes. The floor inside the warehouse consists of portions of reinforced concrete, as well as some wood framed portions. This building is one of the most architecturally functional buildings that represents the Second Dakota Boom.

At the time it was built, this building was responsible for much of the wholesale traffic both in and through the city of Grand Forks. A lot of the wholesale trade at this time consisted of dry goods, clothing, drugs, agricultural materials, jewelry, hardware, paints, and oils. The other depot in town at the time, the Northern Pacific, was also responsible for some of the wholesale traffic. The two freight warehouses worked together during this time, and there was plenty of trade happening to keep them both busy.

This building was nominated for National Register of Historic Places on September 15th, 1989. Its significance is noted as being between the time it was built in 1904 until 1940. At the time of its nomination, Great Northern Freight Warehouse and Depot was in the process of being renovated into the apartment buildings we see today. There are now 29 apartments units in the building. All post and beam structures were left in tact, and all existing wood flooring was retained and refinished. As much integrity of the original building was kept as possible. One major modification included adding skylights for better ventilation.

Kobetsky Properties. Great Northern Freighthouse, Kobetsky Properties II. 2016. Accessed April 20th 2021.

Sperry, James E. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, National Archives Catalog. October 24th 1989. Accessed April 20th 2021.

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