Albrant, William Colstrand

ALBRANT, William Colstrand (1871-1905), an architect of Fargo, North Dakota, was born in Winchester, Ontario on 24 June 1871 and moved west after 1895 to briefly engage in farming activity before registering at North Dakota State University in the Division of Mechanical Arts (a forerunner of the School of Architecture at that institution). He opened his own office in Fargo, North Dakota in 1900, and obtained his first important commission in Canada in 1904 for the City Hall, MOOSE JAW, SASK. (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 23 July 1904, 10, t.c.; Moose Jaw Times, 5 Jan. 1905). This imposing but somewhat eclectic work, with its domed tower, remained a distinctive civic landmark in that city for nearly a decade until the completion of the federal Post Office Building in 1913. Albrant also designed the Electrical Power House for the local waterworks and electrical lighting system in Moose Jaw in 1904 (Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg], 23 July 1904, 10), as well as N.J. Porter's Photographic Studio, MOOSE JAW, SASK. built in 1905 and later altered.
In North Dakota, he was responsible for several major designs in Fargo including First Baptist Church (1904), the Normal School at Mayville State College (1904), and the Carnegie Library buildings at Fargo, at Valley City, and at Grandin, North Dakota. He died suddenly on 3 August 1905 at Fargo, N.D. (obituary in Fargo Forum, 3 & 4 Aug. 1905; inf. from Ronald L.M. Ramsay, Fargo, N.D.). After his death, the successor to his practise was Robert J. Haxby, an architect formerly from Minneapolis.