Advertised as "Fargo's Only Modern Fireproof Hotel," the Powers was built in 1914 by Thomas F. Powers. The hotel is an example of the Sullivanesque architectural style, and was designed by the Hancock Brothers. It was originally built with three floors. In 1919, two floors were added from plans by William F. Kurke.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, and the registration form states:
The Powers Hotel has a commanding location on Broadway, marking the north entry to the central business district. It has acted as market generator for merchants in the immediate neighborhood. The hotel was constructed as a luxury hotel for passengers of the Great Northern Railroad, which passenger depot is one block north of the hotel. The hotel boasted such civilized amenities as running water in every room, a dining service in the same building, and fireproof construction. In the boom era of the railroads the Powers was a favorite spot for visiting dignitaries, housing as its first guest, James J. Hill, railroad baron from St. Paul, Minnesota. Throughout history, the Powers Hotel has been a gathering spot for political caucuses and political conventions. The coffee shop is known popularly in the Fargo community as one of the first public performing places of North Dakota’s Peggy Lee.
It was a family-run hotel from the time it opened on the northwest corner of Broadway and Fourth Avenue North (400 Broadway) until it closed on October 17, 1981. The building was purchased by the 400 Associates Partnership for rehabilitation into elderly housing.
The Powers family were the first name in the Fargo hotel industry for many years. In addition to their namesake hotel, they owned, at one time or another, the Waldorf, the Gardner, and the Fargoan hotels.