This vacant church stood at the corner of Broadway and 4th Ave NW in Minot, at the bottom of North Broadway, right across the street from Sammy’s Pizza. It was locked-up and posted, so we weren’t able to go inside, but by all outward appearances, this place was largely forgotten.
We photographed this place on the spur of the moment on a Saturday morning, and I found myself wondering and thinking about it for the rest of the day. In a town the size of Minot, at a high traffic intersection like this, with a shortage of space due to the oil boom, I couldn’t imagine how someone hadn’t purchased this property for immediate redevelopment as some kind of renaissance landmark.
Normally, when we go on a shoot, we post some shots from the road, and before we even get home, people have filled in all the details of the places we’ve photographed. But not with this place. Out of nearly a hundred comments, nobody knew the name of this church.
This church is featured in our book, Churches of the High Plains.
Charissa Arneson posted the photo of the church above on our Facebook page… it was taken from the Broadway bridge during the disastrous flood of 2011. You can see the top of a huge earthen dike in the foreground, the church’s ultimate saving grace.
If you know the name or any of the details behind this church, please leave a comment below.
Update: This church was founded in 1906 as First Evangelical Swedish Lutheran Church, later to become Augustana Lutheran Church.
Update 2: A visitor to our Facebook page says this property was listed for sale at $575,000.
Update 3: This church was demolished in the summer of 2015.
Original photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC
Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy