Opera House Lofts

Grand Forks, North Dakota

The Metropolitan Opera house was constructed in 1891 as the premiere entertainment venue of its time. It was known as the finest Opera House between Minneapolis & Seattle. The land for the project was donated by the Great Northern Railroad’s James J. Hill to a local investment group, headed by Alexander Griggs and E.J. Lander, who put up the $91,000 to construct the building. The Met as it became known provided live opera, symphony, plays and stage acts for the Grand Forks region for over 50 years.

The restoration brings back the lost architectural elements that make the building the showpiece of the Richardsonian Romanesque style it once was. Other important steps to restoring its historic integrity include replacing the unique two story bay window assembly that once projected from the south section of the facade, and removing enclosures of the upper portion of the strong stone arch that form the entry to the building. Storefront replacement replicates the original framing and glass in each business bay.

downtown Grand Forks historic lofts restoration

The restoration and reuse of the Metropolitan Opera House received the 2007 AIA North Dakota Honor Award.