Home Design

An American In Fargo Foursquare

Matthew Trefz and Karis Thompson Home

If you went on the Historic Hawthorne Home Tour this year, you may recognize this as the home of Matthew Trefz and Karis Thompson.

Research by Deborah Frederickson and Todd Randall
PHOTOS by Hillary Ehlen

The Historic Hawthorne Home Series is a new installment in Design & Living Magazine that will give you a glimpse into incredible Hawthorne Neighborhood restorations and inform you about the historic significance of these well-loved homes.


If you went on the Historic Hawthorne Home Tour this year, you may recognize this as the home of Matthew Trefz and Karis Thompson. Built in 1916, this home was once a triplex, but has since been converted back into a single-family home. Remarkably, it still retains much of its original historic detail.

This home is an American Foursquare, a style of architecture that was popular from the late 19th Century to the early 20th Century. As the name indicates, these homes were square and made efficient use of lot space.

  • Year Built: 1916
  • Architectural Style: American Foursquare
  • Square Feet: 1,874

Matthew Trefz and Karis Thompson Home

Inside of this home, you will notice stunning woodwork that was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement.


Matthew Trefz and Karis Thompson Home

The dining room features dramatic wainscoting and beveled, leaded glass windows.

Matthew Trefz and Karis Thompson Home

“Since we have lived here, we’ve removed carpet, painted rooms, removed wallpaper and had the original oak and maple floors refinished,” Trefz said. They have also had to make unexpected repairs such as having the home re-shingled and a new sewer line installed.


From 1948 to 1949, this house was the home of S. Fred Hultz, president of North Dakota Agricultural College, which is now known as NDSU. The Hultz family lived here while the college president’s residence was being built.

Why did Matthew and Karis choose to live here?
“We wanted to be in the core of the city, a central neighborhood.” – Matthew Trefz

About the Hawthorne Neighborhood Association

The Hawthorne Neighborhood Association brings together neighbors and business owners to create a strong and vibrant community. Join them for neighborhood socials, quarterly meetings and their biennial Historic Home Tour.

The Historic Hawthorne Neighborhood is part of Fargo’s original town site and contains a dynamic mix of housing types that radiate down from the downtown commercial area and Island Park. The Red River makes up the eastern border and historic 8th Street—known for its noteworthy street lighting, commerce, homes and trees—runs north and south through the center of the neighborhood and makes up the core of the National Register Southside Historic District. The neighborhood is named after Hawthorne Elementary School, located on 6th Street and 8th Avenue South.

Learn more and become a member at hawthorneneighborhood.org


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