Cole Hotel

Cole Hotel.

Constructed in 1909, the Cole Hotel was built by Edward E. Cole one block east of the Metropole Hotel, which Cole had built and operated in Fargo since 1893. From 1909 until his death in 1933, Cole and his sons, Rudy, Edward H., and Dunbar, managed both hotels successfully. The Metropole catered to first class clients and the Cole Hotel to a broader middle class clientele of farmers, families, and traveling salesmen. Whereas the smaller Cole Hotel operated on the European plan charging rates of 75 to $2.00 a day, the Metropole was on the American plan at rates of $2.25 to $3.00 a day.

The linking of two hotels to cater to different classes of clientele was not a unique practice in Fargo. A similar practice was carried on by the proprietor of the Waldorf (a first class hotel formerly located at 7th St. S. and Main Ave.) and its sister, the Annex hotel (a second class hotel). The extent to which cross-reservations were made between the Metropole and Cole hotels is unknown, but business continued to thrive during the Cole years. Cole maintained steady renters in the storefronts of the Cole Hotel: in the southeast corner was the Armstrong Cafe, in the southwest was Berg's furniture store. Both of Cole's hotels, conveniently located a block away from each other, drew traveling salesmen to their central locations on N. P. Avenue, just north of the Northern Pacific railroad tracks and two blocks east of Broadway, the main business thoroughfare. Sample rooms for salesman were available in the Metropole for commercial salesmen, but there is no evidence of similar facilities being included with the less-expensive rates charged by the Cole.

Cole's sons continued to manage both the Cole and Metropole after his death in 1933. In 1936 Edward H. Cole sold the Cole Hotel to Kenneth Bergan's mother and her partner, while Rudy Cole continued to manage the Metropole for several years. The Metropole was razed sometime after 1950.
According to Bergan, the Cole family was very proud of the Cole Hotel. Edward E. Cole used to boast that the Cole Hotel was one of the first buildings in town to use a poured concrete basement. Cole had a reputation for using the best materials he could find.

The above history was taken from the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form Winter 1983.

In the 1980s, several attempts were made to refurbish the Cole Hotel, however all fell through and the building was torn down in August 1993.

Cole Hotel letterhead.