American Legion Building – Moorhead MN


WPA-built American Legion building in Moorhead, MN. “The American Legion Melvin E. Hearl Post No. 21 was completed in 1936 with grant assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It is significant as an example of a public works project which was a source of community pride during a period of great economic adversity. It also reflects an unusual, handwork-intensive construction technology which exploited local materials and local labor.”

Source notes

Project originally submitted by Seth Hardmeyer on December 23, 2014.

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Location Info

700 First Avenue North
Moorhead, MN 56560

Coordinates: 46.876676, -96.769319

8 comments on “American Legion Building – Moorhead MN

  1. Diana Carter

    The designers names of the building are incorrectly noted. They should read as follows:

    George Carter
    Allen Meinecke

    Also, could you tell me which direction the stone marker with their names on it faces, if one is looking at the front of the building?

    Thank you for your help,
    I am George’s daughter, Diana

    • Gabriel Milner

      Thank you–we’ve made the correction. We are not sure in which direction the stone marker faces. But perhaps you can try calling the Moorhead American Legion at (218) 233-1297.

  2. James H. Winter

    The stone marker with Carter Meinecke, Architects, faces South and it is in the S/E corner of the front of the building.

    In the 1940’s the America Legion occupied the building, and on Saturdays the Moorhead chapter or the Degree of Honor, used the building. Also in the North end of the building us kids used it for a fort.

  3. James H. Winter

    Who are the face’s of cast in cement in the top four corners of the building?

  4. Diana, would you please contact me at [email protected] as soon as possible? I’d like to interview you about your father if you are available. Thank you!

  5. Paul Lenzmeier

    Do you have a list of all the businesses that have occupied the American Legion building in the past? I am trying to think of the name of one of the upper end restaurants located there during the 1980’s or 1990’s.

  6. Steven Cahill

    The WPA built American Legion Building in Moorhead, MN became the home of several restaurants after the Legion left. The first restaurant was named the Red Bear Grill and Tavern, which opened in December 2001. The Red Bear name was chosen due to the fact that at one time in the past there was a small zoo to the rear of the building in which a red-nosed black bear resided. Also, the building was located along the Red River.
    Ultimately the Red Bear Grill closed and the building was taken over by a restaurant called the Broken Axe, and later, Usher’s House.
    A change of ownership and an extensive remodeling resulted in the opening in 2020 of the Riverhaven Events Center.

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