With the first volume of my new Grand Forks Community Land Trust Neighborhood History Series almost off the presses, Bret Weber and I have begun work on Volume 2. This volume will detail the history of the neighborhood called “Churchville” in Grand Forks. It is part of the Near Southside Historic District and ranks as among the first residential subdivisions of the city.
The Community Land Trust has received several properties in the area bounded on the east by Belmont Road, on the west by Cherry St, on the south by 4th Ave., and on the north by 1st Avenue. It is home to several of the cities most prominent buildings including United Lutheran Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and the old Christian Science Church. A number of other churches – including one that served the Greek Orthodox community and the city’s original synagogue – has been destroyed or their congregations have moved elsewhere.
While these buildings are certainly interesting, we will encourage our author to put them in the context of the local community and the developing urban and architectural traditions of the day. We know, for example, that throughout the first part of the 20th century, tucked amidst the churches and homes were small grocery stores and businesses that have all but vanished. The area has also preserved some of the few fragments of the city’s old wood streets and extensive stretches of granitoid pavement. Moreover, there are some great examples of the well-preserved early 20th century streetscapes that we seek to document.
We’ll have more announcements about this project during the summer months. And over the next year, look for the second volume of our little neighborhood history series to appear sometime in the winter.