Steve C. Martens
Emeritus Professor of Architecture
Phone: 701-361-3943

Research and Creative Interests:

Martens research and applied practice work were brought directly into his teaching in ways that impacted student learning for the path to productive architectural practice. He developed learning resources and problem-solving methodologies to guide students' exploration of problem-solving and building assembly. Throughout his career, Martens engaged in substantial research dealing with the historic built environment and historic preservation. From 2005 to 2017 he published and presented extensively including 24 successful National Register nominations, including individual properties, historic districts, and multiple property contexts, with particular emphasis on the legacy of Depression-era work relief construction. Steve and his wife JoAnna Martens are conservators and stewards for the 1885 National Register listed, historic former Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Lakota, ND.

Educational Credentials:

M.ARCH II, University of Minnesota Minneapolis (1988)
B.A. Architectural Studies, North Dakota State University (1975)

Research Publications and Creative Work:
Martens, Steve and Ronald Ramsay. Buildings of North Dakota, volume in the national book series "Buildings of the U.S.", sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, (August 2015).
Martens, Steve and Ronald Ramsay, co-authors. 100 Classic Buildings of North Dakota, SAH-Archipedia digital resource.
Award Recipient; Alexander Griggs Award from City of Grand Forks and GF Historic Preservation Commission (2015).
Research Associate; appointed to advise research review for the on-line resource Living New Deal, maintained by University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Richard Walker, managing editor & website coordinator.
Martens, Steve. "Depression-Era Federal Relief Construction in North Dakota, 1931-1943 National Register of Historic Places Submission" (2010).
Conservator and co-owner; rehabilitation of historic (1885) "Good Shepherd Episcopal Church" in Lakota, ND.
Martens, Steve. "Independence Beneath the Surface: Faith, Hope, and Grace Embodied in the Congregational Mission Church of Three Affiliated Tribes." (pending) in the April 2017/Spring volume of North Dakota History journal.
Martens, Steve. "Foreword" chapter and extended interview citations in Prairie Barns of North Dakota, with DVD resource; Preservation North Dakota and Prairie Public Broadcast Media. Bismarck: Tasora Books Publishing, (2015). ISBN 978-194-194284503-4
Martens, Steve. "Faithful Stewards/Genuine Collaborators: Weldon and Marjorie Gratton and the Designed Landscapes of the North Dakota Badlands." North Dakota History journal; (v.80:n.2; 2015), pp.3-15.
Graduate Research Mentor; with Marita Abe (TRiO Ronald McNair Research Scholars program), "People Architecture for the Three Affiliated Tribes: Sustaining Community, Architectural Expression, and Cultural Identity", presentations to Preservation North Dakota annual statewide conference; Bismarck, ND (2009-2010).
Graduate Research Mentor; with Gabriela Baierle, “Temporary Visibility/Permanent Imprint”, proceedings of the Architectural Research Centers Consortium 2013 “Ties that Bind” conference, Charlotte, NC.
Author for context study; "Theodore B. Wells and the firm of Wells-Denbrook Architects in North Dakota; 1923-1978".
Presenter. "Knowing One's Place(s): 50-years of Shared Experience with the National Register and the Privilege of Discovery." North Dakota Governor's History Conference and State Historical Society; Bismarck, ND (2016).
Presenter. "The Social Value of Work: Depression-era Buildings, Investment, and Spiritual Renewal;" FM/Communiversity (March 20-27, 2011); Preservation North Dakota statewide conference (Wishek; 2012), keynote Humanities Scholar sponsored by ND Humanities Council.
Presenter. "Dams if We Do, and Damned if We Don't," (New Deal-era conservation structures for managing hydrological landscapes), presented to the North Dakota Governor's History Conference, Too Much or Too Little: The Story of Water in North Dakota; (2011).
Coordinator for pro bono student community service project. "Valley City Historic Downtown Design Guidelines and Architectural Tour Guide" (2004). NDSU Archive and Institute for Regional Studies.
"Chaska Minnesota Historic Downtown Storefront Design Guidelines"; sponsored by a 2003 grant from the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office and Chaska Heritage Preservation Commission.
Martens, Steve and Ron Ramsay, "Architecture on the Great Plains," in The Great Plains Culture Region, (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press; 2004); pp.1-32.
Martens, Steve. "Rural Architecture", in Gary A. Goreham (ed.); Encyclopedia of Rural America: The Land and People. (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Publishing; 1997) and Millerton, NY: Grey House Publishing; 2008; pp.96-100.
S. Martens, faculty sponsor; Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) recording projects for Moland Township WPA School, Moorhead American Legion, Oakport Community Building, St. Stephens Episcopal Church Casselton, and "The German-Russian Hutmacher Farm Complex"; student HABS entry in Charles E. Peterson Prize national competition sponsored by National Parks Service and the Historic American Buildings Survey(HABS, 1996). and NDSU Germans from Russia
web site: The German-Russian Hutmacher Farm Complex
Architectural practice and preservation technical consulting for Historic St. Stephen's Episcopal Roof Rehabilitation (2016), St. Cloud Veterans Hospital Campus Preservation Masterplan (with R. Moorhead, architect 2011-2013), Pastoret Terrace Duluth (2012), Wieland-Hayes Buildings Duluth (with DSGW architects 2006), Loretta Block Fargo (with JLG architects 2011), Union Transfer Cold Storage Warehouse (with JLG architects 2006), Belfield Ukrainian Church (2003), Plains Art Museum Relocation Feasibility Study and Facilities Programming (1993-95).


North Dakota Architect (#864)
Minnesota Architect (#16842)
NDCRS Research Consultant and CFR 36-61 certified Architectural Historian, Historical Architect.

Professional Experience:

Architect/Principal; Steve C. Martens, Architect (1988-present).
FrozenMusic, Architectural collaboration with Milton Yergens, Architect (1989-2004).
Lecturer (adjunct), North Dakota State University (1985-1987).
Architect/Partner; Twichell/Thompsen/Martens/O'Brien, Architects (1984-1986).
Senior Project Architect; Seth W. Twichell & Associates (1983-1984).

Professional Memberships:

Society of Architectural Historians
Vernacular Architecture Forum
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Certified Construction Specifier (CCS), through the Construction Specifications Institute

Steve Martens serves on the North Dakota State Historical Board.

Courses Taught:

Architecture Materials & Construction Methods
Third & Fourth Year Architectural Design Studios
Graduate Seminars in Historic Preservation
Fifth Year Graduate Architectural Design Studios: Historic Preservation
Architectural Thesis and TRiO supported Thesis Preparation

Retired from active teaching in July 2016 after 29-years' university teaching experience and 40 years of applied architectural practice experience as a Registered Architect and materials specialist, Professor Martens career emphasized professional development and student preparedness to embrace the architect's responsibility for moving from idea to object.

Teaching Experience:

Emeritus Professor, North Dakota State University (2016-present).
Professor, North Dakota State University (2015-2016).
Associate Professor, North Dakota State University (1994-2015).
Assistant Professor, North Dakota State University (1989-1994).
Lecturer (adjunct), North Dakota State University (1985-1987).