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As the City of Bismarck celebrates its 150th Anniversary, the Historic Preservation Commission is excited to unveil new ways for residents and visitors to experience the history of the community. The Historic Preservation Commission aims to promote knowledge and understanding of the City’s heritage, its historic properties, and the past endeavors of its residents.
“We are really excited to introduce new way for people to explore the history of Bismarck” said Will Hutchings Senior Planner and staff liaison for the Historic Preservation Commission. “There are a lot of really fascinating stories behind the different sites in Bismarck that need to be told. These two projects will allow people who may be very familiar to Bismarck, or those who are experiencing our city for the first time, to get a sense of the rich history that is all around us.”
Two self-guided walking map brochures were developed for the Downtown Bismarck Historic District and the Cathedral Historic District. These maps highlight historic buildings and sites within each of the historic districts that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Historic Preservation Commission worked with a local company, The Printers, to develop each of the walking map brochures. These brochures will be distributed locally and across the state to help promote Bismarck’s honored historic areas and encourage heritage tourism. Interested parties can obtain a copy of the brochures, free of charge, at the City of Bismarck, Community Development Department in the City/County Building at 221 North Fifth Street in downtown Bismarck.
The Historic Preservation Commission also partnered with a local company, Talking Trail, to provide an interactive self-guided audio tour featuring ten historic sites in the core of the community. The featured Talking Trail sites were selected by the Historic Preservation Commission with help from members of the 2021 Leadership Bismarck Mandan class.
The ten sites are as follows:
• The Bismarck Rail Depot
• Belle Mehus Auditorium
• Prince Hotel (Van Horn and Ritterbush Architects)
• Patterson Hotel
• Capitol Theater Building
• The Provident Building / Weather Beacon
• St. Alexius Hospital
• World War Memorial Building
• Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library
• Cathedral Area Historic District
Each of the selected sites contain a sign indicating that it is a Talking Trail interpretative site. Several other Talking Trail interpretative sites are available throughout the community and across the state.
There are two ways people can access the Talking Trail pre-recorded audio narratives. Either download the free Talking Trail mobile app available on Android or Apple devices or use your phone to listen to the audio recordings by dialing the phone number found on the sign at each location and entering the unique 3-digit number. Learn more at: www.talkingtrail.com/historicbismarcknd
These projects were funded by a Historic Preservation Fund grant award from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Donated time was provided by the Historic Preservation Commission. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the materials do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.
For more information, please visit www.bismarcknd.gov