The Gardner Hotel was designed by the Hancock Brothers and was named after Frank C. Gardner, the head of a group of Fargo investors. It was located at 26 Roberts Street—on the southwest corner of Roberts Street and First Avenue N. The grand opening of the hotel took place on January 14, 1909. The building was a five story brick structure with a basement and it had a footprint of 110 x 140 feet. The Bowers Brothers were the general contractors in charge of the construction of the building, and it cost nearly $250,000 to build. A 1912 travel brochure published for the Gardner Hotel, states the Gardner had 150 rooms: 25 "Combination Sample Rooms, with Bath" from $3 to $4; 70 rooms with running water ($1.50 to $2); and 80 rooms with a bath ($2 to $4).
G. A. Habner was the manager for about a year; the management was then taken over by Al Leimbacker. The hotel was first leased and then purchased by the Powers Brothers in 1933. At that time Tom Power assumed the position as manager. The hotel underwent a major renovation in 1941. The Powers Brothers sold the hotel in 1969 to William Kenney, and he sold the hotel to a religious organization, the Daystar Ministries in September 1974. In 1985 the hotel was converted into a 129 apartment facility.
The Gardner was considered the premiere hotel in Fargo and many personalities of world fame were guests. Among them were Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, James J. Hill, Sir. Hubert Wilkin, Charles Lindbergh, Carl Ben Eielson, Charles Evans Hughes, William Jennings Bryan, Harry Lauder, Al Jolson, Charlie Chaplin, Billie Burke, Will Rogers, Sophie Tucker, Jack Benny, Charles Laughton, Agnes Moorehead, Charles Boyer, Jack Dempsey, Jimmy Dorsey and Lawrence Welk, and many others.
The images below are from a 1912 travel brochure published for the Gardner Hotel. Pictured above are a parlor and a guest room. Pictured below are the hotel lobby and cafe.