Paul Lundgren Posts

Postcards from the Arrowhead Bridge

New Arrowhead Bridge 1927b

Arrowhead Bridge in the 1940s

The Arrowhead Bridge connected West Duluth to Superior’s Billing’s Park neighborhood across the St. Louis River for 57 years. Built by the Arrowhead Bridge Co., it opened on March 15, 1927. The company charged a toll to cross the bridge until 1963, when Minnesota and Wisconsin state officials paid $200,000 to make it a toll-free public bridge.

The Arrowhead Bridge was dismantled in 1985 after the opening of the Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge.

Chester Bowl Park Downhill Ski “Fun Slope”

Duluth’s Parks and Recreation Division is preparing Chester Bowl Park for a new “fun slope,” according to a news release issued today.

Crews will be out clearing out a section of the hill within the ski area in preparation for the upcoming winter season. The new “fun slope” with gentle waves of snowy berms for skiing was identified as a desired addition to the park in the Chester Park Mini-Master Plan, approved in November 2014.

Crews will be working this week into next during daytime hours, but the public should not experience any interruption in their use of the park spaces or trails. The area will be covered with wood chips to reduce erosion and smooth out the area winter operations.

Perfect Outdoor Concert Venue: Bayfront Festival Park

PDDPerfectOutdoorConcertVenueLogoDuluthians aren’t shy about loving Bayfront Park. Asked in PDD’s poll to name the best outdoor concert venue, 71.5 percent gave their nod to the 10-acre harbor-side multi-purpose park that has hosted Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Trampled by Turtles, Wilco, the Monkees, the Doobie Brothers, Willie Nelson, Steve Martin, nearly three decades of Bayfront Blues Festivals and a long list of others.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune also named Bayfront the state’s “Best Outdoor Music Venue” in 2014, noting: “It has the Aerial Lift Bridge, hilly city skyline and occasional passing ore boat for a backdrop, the cool breeze off Lake Superior for natural air-conditioning and a huge grassy lawn for stretching out. … Coolest of all: Families can bring kids under 12 to shows for free, as is dictated by the city.”

Heiko has a party

Heiko has a party

An artistic collaboration between Jeremiah Brown, Brian Barber and Banksy. T-shirts go on sale never.

R.I.P. Josh “Edgewood” Smith

Photo by Paul Van Antwerp

Photo by Paul Van Antwerp

We are crushed at Perfect Duluth Day to learn our great friend Edgewood Smith died last Wednesday.

On PDD he went by the handle “Edgeways” and was one of the earliest contributors to the website.

He also frequently DJed The Local Show on KUMD, using the moniker Dj-e.

Web Woods Trail

Web Woods Trail entrance

New hiking paths pop up in Duluth faster than I can keep track of them. Web Woods Trail was in the news when it opened in 2012, but I didn’t check it out back then, and soon I’d forgotten about it. So when my wife asked if I’d ever been on the trail off Oak Bend Drive in Duluth Heights all I could respond with is: “What trail?

Poll: What is the best outdoor concert venue in the Duluth area?

What is the best outdoor concert venue in the Duluth area? It’s is an all-things-considered poll — acoustics, aesthetics, parking, lavatories, etc.

Note: This is PDD’s first runoff poll, which means instead of having an elimination round and a final round of voting, the options with the fewest votes will simply start dropping off of this poll. So check back, because if you vote for something and it drops off the list, you can vote again for one of the remaining options until we have a winner.

This poll is now closed. The results were:

Bayfront Festival Park — 71.5 percent
Big Top Chautauqua — 19 percent
Leif Erikson Park — 9.5 percent

Eliminated during run-off vote: Barker’s Island Pavilion, Billings Park, Chester Bowl, DeWitt-Seitz parking lot, First Street, Glensheen Mansion Pier, Lake Place Park, Lake Superior Plaza, Lincoln Park Pavilion, Lucius Woods Performing Arts Center, Northwest Iron parking lot and Wade Municipal Stadium.

What is the best place for outdoor concerts in the Duluth area?

It’s been a while since we’ve done a poll on PDD, and this post leads us into the next one. Before we publish a ballot on Saturday, we have to ask the question and make sure we aren’t missing any good nominees.

What is the best place for outdoor concerts in the Duluth area?

Barker’s Island Pavilion
Bayfront Festival Park
Big Top Chautauqua
Billings Park
Chester Bowl
Glensheen Mansion Pier
Lake Place Park
Leif Erikson Park
Lucius Woods Performing Arts Center

Anything else that should be on the ballot?

Duluth Album Releases in 2005

In the ongoing quest to catalog Duluth music we take a look back one decade to celebrate albums released by local artists in 2005. As usual, the list starts with an initial brainstorm and expands when you make note in the comments about what’s missing from the list so far.

Low - The Great DestroyerLow
The Great Destroyer

Sub Pop Records (Jan. 24)
Available at Sub Pop’s Mega Mart

Boy Girl Boy Girl - Sugar Skull MakerBoy Girl Boy Girl
Sugar Skull Maker

(March 28)
Available on Amazon

Trampled by Turtles - Blue Sky and the Devil
Trampled by Turtles
Blue Sky and the Devil

(April 20)
Available on Amazon

The Hobo Nephews of Uncle FrankThe Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank
Self titled

Consider it Correspondence (July 1)
Available on Amazon

Don’t worry, the sandstone will be back

Ye Olde Central High School

Lest anyone driving by the Central Administration Building, aka Old Central High School, fear the cool sandstone wall is being replaced with ugly cinder blocks, let it be noted that it’s just a temporary wall to hold things in place while the 120-year-old blocks are restored.


Public Officials with Cool Names

Brainerd Police Chief Corky McQuiston

Brainerd Police Chief
Corky McQuiston

Bass Lake Fire Department Chief Marvin Mullet

Bass Lake Fire Department Chief Marvin Mullet

Superior City Attorney Frog Prell

Superior City Attorney
Frog Prell

2015 Duluth Primary Election Primer

The filing period for Duluth city and school board offices closed on July 21. Below are the offices up for grabs and the names of those who filed. The Primary Election will be held Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Duluth Mayor
(Top two candidates advance to General Election)
Thomas Cooper
John Howard Evans
Jane Hammerstrom Hoffman (withdrew)
Howie Hanson
Chuck Horton
Emily Larson
James Mattson
Robert D. Schieve
John Socha

At-large Duluth City Councilors
(Two positions; no primary in this race, all four candidates advance)
Jim Booth
Elissa Hansen
Noah Hobbs
Kriss Osbakken

First District Duluth City Councilor
(No primary in this race; both candidates advance)
Gary Anderson
Karl Spring

Second District Duluth City Councilor
(No primary in this race; candidate is unopposed)
Joel Sipress

Third District Duluth City Councilor
(No primary in this race, both candidates advance)
Jay Cole (withdrew)
Barri Love
Em Westerlund

Fifth District Duluth City Councilor
(Top two candidates advance)
Allan Beaulier
Derrick Ellis
Jay Fosle
Janet Kennedy

At-large Duluth School Board Member
(Top two candidates advance)
Alanna Oswald
Jim H. Unden
Renee K. VanNett

District Two Duluth School Board Member
(Top two candidates advance)
Jane Hammerstrom Hoffman
David Kirby
Charles Obije

District Three Duluth School Board Member
(No primary in this race; both candidates advance)
Loren Martell
Nora Sandstad

St. Louis River photos from National Geographic

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On April 7, National Geographic published a photo gallery featuring images of the St. Louis River. The intro to the piece notes the St. Louis is “the eighth most endangered river in the U.S.,” according to a ranking by the advocacy group American Rivers.

Explore Duluth/Superior LocalWiki


Chris Handsone and Esther Derby have launched a LocalWiki for Duluth and Superior. Similar to Wikipedia in general, the LocalWiki effort is intended to “collect, share and open the world’s local knowledge” by allowing anyone to create and edit information about where they live — “their local government, the history of their neighborhoods, streets, social movements, noteworthy local figures, social services, schools — every facet of life in their community.” Check out the Explore Duluth/Superior LocalWiki at localwiki.org/duluth/_explore.

Sclavi’s is on the ropes again


Sclavi’s Italian Restaurant in Superior is threatening to close for what would be the third time.

“We are in need of your patronage, immediately,” the restaurant’s Facebook page noted yesterday. “We are close to closing our doors permanently. This is rock bottom.”