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The David Park House

With its smooth surfaces, geometrical detailing, the David Park House is a classic example of the "Streamline Moderne" variant of the Art Deco architectural style.  Although Minnesota has a number of well-designed Art Deco theaters, public buildings and office blocks, few residences in this style were built during the early part of the century.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Park House is one of the best-preserved residential examples of this variant of the style in Minnesota.

The 5,326 square-foot building was designed by architect Edward K. Mahlum, who was born in Seattle but grew up in Norway.  He received formal training in the Midwest, and was struck by the flow and potential of modern architecture since, as he said, "We didn't have American Colonial in Norway".  While working for a firm out of Fergus Falls, his early works included the Clearwater County Courthouse in Bagley as well as the High School Auditorium in Bemidji.

The Park House was completed in 1936 for David Park, the owner of Bemidji's largest creamery.  The house was a bold, horizontal composition displaying sweeping reversed curves.  The striking appearance of the building resulted from the melding of all design elements with the primary construction material, poured concrete, which produced a smooth monolithic white surface that accelerated the flowing lines of the building?s front fa├žade.  

The home remained in the Park House family until purchased in late 1991 by the BSU Foundation.  The Bemidji State Alumni Association entered into a joint ownership agreement with the Foundation in April of 1992. With most of the building restored, the Park House serves as home for the Foundation offices.

As the only house in Bemidji on the National Register of Historic Places, the David Park House is open to the public for tours Monday through Friday at 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Please call to schedule your group.  The David Park House is also available for special functions.  Please take a moment to review the Event Policy brochure. If interested in reserving the Park House for your event, please call the BSU Foundation at 755-2762 for dates and availability, print and complete the reservation form and return to the Foundation office.


2006 Revised Event,Policy brochure


DPH Reservation Form.2006