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Presbyterian Church, Fergus Falls, MN

March 29, 2017

I’ve seen images of this building for years but never wondered whether it might be an A-A. A couple of things about this view encourage me to think otherwise: the location of the entry tower (between what seem to be its principal interior spaces) and the “rose window” barely showing on the far left elevation (the probably location of the altar). So I’m tentatively adding it to the database.

The other interesting thing about this Fergus Falls church is the silhouette of its tower. Those exaggerated dormers interrupting the eaves are very much like some I’ve seen on buildings by Fargo architect William C. Albrant (1871-1904) who just happens to have been the architect for Fargo’s First Baptist church, now demolished for a parking lot. I rest my case:

PS [later the same day]: To those who know my connection at North Dakota State University, William C. Albrant should be a familiar name. Albrant was a young architect at the beginning of what should have been a promising career. He had married and Mrs Albrant was pregnant with their first child. He’d received prominent commissions at the Agricultural College, work that could only enhance his reputation.

More particularly, Albrant had designed a commercial building for the Robb-Lawrence Co., a manufacturer of agricultural implements. The dominance of International Harvester put them out of business and the building was eventually occupied by Northern School Supply which, in its own turn was erased by the internet. Vacant for several years, the 1904 building was rescued by a local benefactor and converted for use by NDSU’s departments of Art and of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. It’s the building where I work.

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