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NorShor tower to return

Remember two-and-a-half years ago when we speculated about bringing back the old NorShor tower?

Apparently, the speculation is over.

Developer: NorShor Theatre’s tower marquee will rise again

The story seems to indicate the tower will be built from scratch rather than refurbished, which leaves open the question of what happened to the original tower.

For a further historical refresher course: NorShor Theatre Historical Slide Show

29 Comments

Dorkus

about 6 years ago

Wow that is good news!

I always wondered why, in this day and age of construction technology, we couldn't build a replica of the tower that wasn't quite as heavy as the original. 

That is probably part of the reason they are rebuilding it, as the original was extremely heavy. That, and  they likely don't know where the original is.

quirtep

about 6 years ago

Yes, great news.

Dave P

about 6 years ago

Has anyone checked below Skyline Parkway for the original? (Snarky, wiseguy comment.) Seriously though, this is terrific news.

Rij

about 6 years ago

How will it comply with new city sign regulations?

hbh1

about 6 years ago

Eric Ringsred knows where the original is. In fact, I'm pretty sure he told me years ago he has it stored in one of his warehouses.

hbh1

about 6 years ago

(Not that getting anything from Eric is an easy proposition.)

hbh1

about 6 years ago

In fact it might be easier to build it from scratch out of chewing gum and tin foil. I'll get right on it.

TimK

about 6 years ago

I believe Eric might have some of the panels. If my history is correct, the bulk of it was scrapped/recycled.

BadCat!

about 6 years ago

I'm all for restoring all elements of the NorShor, but wouldn't it be best to worry about getting the place open before restoring historic architecture?

TimK

about 6 years ago

BadCat- I agree in a "let's make shit happen " sort of way, but it can't be opened until it meets ADA and that requires architectural modifications.

Tony D.

about 6 years ago

Bad Cat, the tower is part of the restoration, which needs to be complete inside before it can be opened for business. Sherman never said that they'd start with the tower, or that they would wait until the tower was built to open the NorShor, only that they intend to bring the tower back as well.

Danny

about 6 years ago

Only in Duluth would we build a whole new gigantic tower because we misplaced the old one.

BadCat!

about 6 years ago

I'm just excited to have the doors open again!

Tony D.

about 6 years ago

Thanks for posting that old presentation, Paul -- I've neglected to put it up on my own site!

If you want to know more about the tower (and the theaters), I just posed a story on Zenith City about this that has lots of links to more in our History archives. And it even mentions this thread.

wildgoose

about 6 years ago

The tower is key to the restoration. When I met with the architects I told them that the marquee is integral to everyone's feelings about the NorShor. And yes I do mean everyone. During the short time that I managed the building, every day people stopped in because of something on the marquee then stayed for a visit and invariably talked about an event from the past that they had seen there. I'm talking about people of all generations.  And the symbolism and the cultural connection to the NorShor are the only reasons to even do this restoration in the first place.  It is not just about the quality or the location of the performance space. It's not even about the history, ask the Armory folks how that pitch is working out for them. The reason to restore the Norshor is all of those things, but at its core, at least in my view, the reason to restore the tower is the same reason that you do anything with that place at all. The reason you do it is because of how it makes people feel.

Beverly

about 6 years ago

I sense I'm treading on thin ice here considering the other comments, but I think the old tower is ugly, and I'd prefer to see the theater restored without it.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

I honestly did not think anyone would feel that way.

emmadogs

about 6 years ago

Beverly, I never saw the old tower when it was up, but I think the photo of it is really, really neat.  Maybe the photo doesn't do justice to the tower's disruptive and/or ugly quality?

jbraski

about 6 years ago

I am really excited to see this tower being built! I'm just going to throw it out there to get your opinions, but what if the tower had an art deco style like the old one, yet incorporated some modern technologies as far as lighting, or even the extreme as to being able to display what is playing at the theater a la the new Guthrie? The scrolling text may be a bit gaudy, but it would be great to have some sort of changing lighting (or something) that may attract people from the Lakewalk (if the tower would be tall enough to be viewed from the Lakewalk). Just wanted to see what you all thought.

Beverly

about 6 years ago

It looks like there are light bulbs on the letters, shining off in all directions, and I wonder if that thing on the top is lit up, too. I don't like the new lights that shine on Enger Tower or the lights on the Blatnik Bridge, either, (or the casino — ugh!), so it's probably the lights that are getting my disapproval here.

If this were a new development, would people be happy about this tower? Is it because it's historic that it gets a pass?

I'm not trying to be annoying in a who-asked-you kind of way, but by posting this here, you are kind of asking, right?

adam

about 6 years ago

You could reportedly see it from Superior.

wildgoose

about 6 years ago

Yes Beverly, it is because of the history that it gets a pass.  Otherwise, if Duluth 10 or some other theater tried it most of us would probably be pissed.  Interesting point.

Tony D.

about 6 years ago

Some say as far as 60 miles away, Adam.

Barrett Chase

about 6 years ago

I disagree with Wildgoose: I would not be pissed if a new building featured a cool sign like this. I like signs. But then again, I like Enger Tower, and the lights on the Blatnik Bridge, and even the Casino's lights. Lights are awesome.

However, if a new development (or even the Norshor) used the suggestions in jbraski's comment, I would hate everything about it. It sounds like the real-life equivalent of a popup takeover ad. Then again, I might be misinterpreting.

As I've said before, though, I don't think I'd like it very much if I lived at the Greysolon and the sign was right outside my bedroom window. I wonder how they're going to deal with that situation.

-Berv

about 6 years ago

I'm a little confused on the terminology here.  It seems like there's two parts to the system, the "tower marquee" and the street-level "sign marquee."  To address Wildgoose's comment, it seems like the tower marquee would be a cool feature, but the sign marquee is what would let people know what's going on and draw people in.  Maybe they'll both be replaced, I don't know.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Here is Heidi Blunt's comic from this week's Transistor.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago



Anyway, here's making sure we have a "before" shot.

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