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Fargo house was 'built special'

When Becky Zantow descended the staircase of the 1910 Fargo house at 1337 Broadway, she felt elegant -- even when carrying a load of laundry. When Zantow looked in the heavy, original mirror built into her closet's door, she ruminated on the firs...

When Becky Zantow descended the staircase of the 1910 Fargo house at 1337 Broadway, she felt elegant -- even when carrying a load of laundry.

When Zantow looked in the heavy, original mirror built into her closet's door, she ruminated on the first woman who surveyed herself in the glass.

Zantow, who lived in the house from 1998 to 2002, said she was appalled to think it would be torn down without any attempt to preserve it.

"They just don't make anything like that anymore," she said. "You can tell it was built special."

Sitting alone in the house, Zantow said she could feel the building's age and stories embedded in its intricate woodwork and heavy, cherrywood doors.

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Rosewood on Broadway, a Fargo nursing home at 1351 Broadway, sold the 2½-story house to Michael Trevino for $1 on the condition Trevino move the house and clear the site. If Trevino didn't move the house by today, the house would be demolished, Rosewood administrator Shawn Stuhaug said April 25.

While Zantow was upset to see the house ripped off its foundation, she said she'd rather see it saved in some form than entirely destroyed.

Zantow said she spoke with Fargo Mayor Bruce Furness about the possibilities of the house being preserved.

Furness said he told the family that paid Trevino to move the house to Glyndon, Minn., to get estimates and route proposals from other house movers.

While another mover may not be able to move the house all the way to Glyndon, the goal should be to get it off the current lot in preservable condition, Zantow said.

The 2½-story Dutch Colonial Revival-style house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. It was built by Chesebro Smith, an associate of Fargo banker and land developer Martin Hector.

"The magnitude and appearance of the Chesebro Smith house surpasses all other Dutch Colonial Revival houses" nominated in north Fargo, the National Register's nomination form said.

Zantow said it must have been expensive to build in the early 20th century with its many unique corners.

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"Anybody who has spent time in the house knows how special it is," Zantow said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Lisa Schneider at (701) 241-5529

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