The Northern Pacific was the first major railroad to go through Fargo.
In 1971, Burlington Northern, the successor to the Northern Pacific Railroad, deeded the depot and its grounds to the city of Fargo. Momentum to preserve the historic landmark began to gather steam. In 1975, the Depot became the first Fargo building entered on the National Register, and a campaign was begun to restore its interior.
The movement to renovate the park, gardens and fountain began in 1981. A novel plan was developed to fund the project: Volunteers would sell the bricks to be used to pave the area. Some 9,000 bricks were purchased by families, businesses and organizations at $20 each. Now incorporated throughout the courtyard, each is engraved with its supporter's name or slogan. Local businesses and individuals contributed services and furnishings to complete the plaza, from its distinctive clock and fountain to the gazebo, globe lights, wrought-iron tables and chairs, benches, flagpoles, and flowerpots.
Completed at a cost of nearly half a million dollars, none of it tax money, Depot Plaza was dedicated on September 8, 1984, a symbol of pleasure and pride in Fargo's heritage.