The 1970s were a time of major change for the Capital City. From housing to retail, Bismarck’s landscape got a whole new look. More recently, the history of it all is revealing itself.
Out with the old, in with the new. That’s what’s been happening in Downtown Bismarck over the last 50 years.
“So when you look down the street everything looks so fresh and cute,” said Vanessa Lange, Co-Owner of Hi Honey Salon in downtown Bismarck.
With new buildings going up, old ones are being torn down. Structures like the old Woolworth building and the Patterson are being restored and getting exterior facelifts.
“We’ve been noticing a lot of the buildings that needed a facelift are getting it with some sandblasting and cleaning the outside,” said Lange.
The updates are needed — but they come with incentive, too. That’s thanks to the Bismarck Renaissance Zone Program. It offers business and homeowners tax exemptions if they restore historical downtown buildings.
So that’s what’s happening in a lot of the projects we are seeing downtown. Bismarck Renaissance Authority Chair Jim Christianson says it’s good to have people interested in the preservation of what’s become downtown history.
“I think the fact that they’re still standing and being renovated again in some cases it just speaks well for the past and the future,” said Christianson.
And as history is reborn the future of downtown Bismarck looks bright.
The Renaissance Zone stretches across 40 acres of downtown Bismarck More than 100 businesses and surrounding properties in downtown Bismarck take part in this program.