Armory Public Meeting

Wondering what the crazy “Dylan fetishists” are up to with the Armory? Interested in hearing more about the plans for one of the best addresses and buildings in Duluth? Just curious to finally see the inside of the Armory?

Saturday 5/1 at 11:00am the Armory Arts & Music Center will be holding a public meeting at Valentini’s to update the community on the status of the project.  Following the 45 minute meeting those interested can join us across the street for an Armory tour.  Dress warm and wear old shoes 🙂  Then go back across the street to Leif Ericson Park for Respect Your Mother Earth & great music.

We are looking particularly for those with an interest in the arts, music, and nonprofit plans for the building who may have an interest in shaping the future of the Armory.  This meeting will serve as the kickoff of a new committee we are calling the Arts & Music Collective.  If you may have an interest in getting involved, drop me an email natedemars @

There has been some exciting news lately from the passage of the Minnesota Preservation Tax Credit to the announcement of plans for student housing on the site to the amazing work the incomparable Crystal Pelkey is doing to bring the Music Resource Center to Duluth. We are excited to share more details and to trick some of you into getting involved. Please share with your friends, the more the merrier!

Invite document

Historic Duluth Armory on Facebook (sorry its outdated)

Armory Public Meeting on Facebook


Vladimar Vlasic

about 12 years ago

What a great video and project. I hope it comes to fruition. The Armory needs to be saved.


about 12 years ago

Armory or Norshor?


about 12 years ago

Best of luck. Armory, Norshor, Temple Opera, let's get them all, publicly or privately, and keep some cool old history alive.


about 12 years ago

So long as the future residents/tenants/visitors are comfortable with the aroma of Alakef just across Jefferson, everybody'll be happy.


about 12 years ago

If I am correct, the Armory preservation group was give a two year time slot back in 2004 to come up with a viable plan/funding to restore this building. If they did not complete the task, the building was supposed to be transferred back to the city. The reason being that there is a large amount of lead contamination from the shooting range in the basement that was used for 60+ years, and the lead is continuously seeping into Chester Creek which actually flows under the Armory building. The city was facing a $1mm lead/asbestos abatement problem required to tear down the structure and clean up the site, which is why they deeded the property to the Armory group.Does anybody know what the status is on both the lead contamination and the reason why the city has not taken back the site to properly get rid if lead problem??


about 12 years ago

I'm pretty sure an EIA will grind everything to a halt.


about 12 years ago

OGDuluthian, the rumor mill is not your friend.

The Armory Arts and Music Center (AAMC) owns the building and has been actively pursuing a developer to take on the project. There have been a number of avenues explored to make it financially viable and attractive to a developer. The AAMC reports to the City regularly to prove that they are moving forward, that the building is secure, and that steps are being taken to preserve the building and find a developer. This, in turn, maintains the Stay of Demolition for the building.

There was never a clause, to my knowledge, that the building would be returned to the city per se, but rather that the building would have to be demolished if a use could not be found for it. The AAMC has proven repeatedly that there is interest in developing the project, and that the City's criteria for maintaining the Stay of Demolition have been met. Let's not forget that the economy tanked since 2004, and developers are not easy to come by.

You are correct that there is lead in the basement, but the extent has been overblown. It is in a very small confined area, which is dry, and therefore is not "seeping" into the creek.

Further, there is actually very little asbestos in the building considering its size. It isn't a problem or a major expense to abate.
The $1 million dollar figure you cite is the cost to tear the building down and restore the site, not just to abate the lead and asbestos. 
The City didn't deed the property to the AAMC just to skirt the abatement cost as you seem to imply, but rather because they saw the historic significance of the building and agreed that a reasonable effort should be made to save it. The City didn't have the resources to make that effort, but saw that the AAMC had the drive and expertise to potentially pull it off.

A viable plan is now in place and there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am optimistic that a developer will step up and the building can be saved.


about 12 years ago

EIA?  Why would the Edmonton International Airport want to do such a thing!!??

hells bells

about 12 years ago

I'm not living in Duluth anymore, but when I saw that place in 2007 it needed work. It was amazingly beautiful, it's always cool seeing decaying buildings that time and people have forgot. I hope they fix it up, it's in a killer location.


about 12 years ago

What the hell, you don't need a developer, ask the city for DEDA money. Tell 'em it will bring in tourists and the hip crowd spending their money on each other. Cool history requires a lot of cool cash. Don't forget to take on Walgreens and their destruction of historic buildings.

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