Graver Hotel

Graver Hotel.

The building that houses the Graver Hotel (located at 123 Roberts Street) was designed by William F. Kurke and built in 1917. The building was one of architect Kurke's first buildings after moving to Fargo. It was built at the location of the Fargo Opera House which had burned in December, 1912, and according to an account in the January 5, 1917 issue of the Fargo Forum & Daily Republican the contractors were utilizing the east and south walls of the ruined Opera House in the construction of the building.

In 1928 the building was completely renovated by the Parker Hotel Company, and opened as the Graver Hotel. Allegedly, the story of the naming came from a tragic love story in which the owner, Vern W. Parker, had a romantic relationship with a Grace Jennings. The story was recounted by Grace Jennings nephew in The Forum, February 15, 1987. As the story goes, Mr. Parker and Grace were madly in love. When it came time to name the hotel Vern used a combination of their names GRAce and VERn, and arrived with the name GRAVER. Tragically Vern Parker died only a year after the opening of the hotel, and Grace lived the rest of her life as a single woman.

The following description of the hotel comes from the Fargo Forum & Daily Republican, August 14, 1928:

There are 31 one room kitchenette apartments, 71 guest rooms, with and without bath. A barber shop will be operated in connection with the hotel by John Pritchard of Fargo, and Mrs. V. Kank will operate the hotel coffee shop. Each apartment is equipped with Frigidaire. An attractive color scheme, combining exotic shades of red and green, taupe rugs, and subdued tones in overstuffed furniture, has been worked out to make a very attractive lobby.

In 1976, North Dakota State University Alumni Development Foundation acquired the property and it was used for student housing until the mid-1980s, when it became the Graver Inn Apartments. In January 2003, the building was purchased by the Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority for use as a low-income housing.

Graver Hotel letterhead.

Graver Hotel ashtray.