Photos by Hillary Ehlen | Historic photos provided by YHR partners
While the City of Moorhead modernized over the course of the 20th century, time stood still in one little house on Main Avenue. Now, that building is home to architects YHR Partners in the 21st century. This structure is the last of its kind in Moorhead, but even more remarkable is the fact that its still in use. Join us as we explore the history behind its false facade.
Unchanged By Time
When Royce Yeater, Richard Hennings and Dale Ruff of YHR Partners purchased the house, the inside had hardly changed since the 1930s. Architect Julie Rokke said, “There were still bedsheets on. It had just been locked and boarded up for years.”
In 1991, YHR Partners added a historically-sensitive expansion that would double the building in size. “We designed the woodwork to match,” Rokke said. Now, it is hard to determine which rooms are original and what is a part of the new addition.
Last Front Standing
The YHR Partners office is the last of its kind in Moorhead. Featuring a false front, this building is an example of boomtown architecture, which was popular in the Old West. Business owners would invest more into the front of their buildings, while leaving the other sides plain. This allowed commercial spaces to go up quickly, hence the name. Back in the day, buildings like this could be spotted all over downtown Moorhead.
420 Main Ave., Moorhead