February 2016 Posts

Duluth couple tackling historic hotel renovation


A Duluth couple building upscale housing space into an abandoned 19th Century hotel expects buyers will be interested in Downtown Duluth living.

Zenith City Revival LLC owners Mitchell and Michelle Holmes plan to build 12 loft-style condominiums inside the former Gardner Hotel at 12 N. Lake Ave. in Duluth’s Historic Arts and Theater District. The couple is calling it Building No. 12 Lofts on Lake, and said units will list for between $225,000 to $370,000 each. A storefront, street-level sales space is scheduled to open this spring.

Over the past two years, the Holmes’ have removed trash bins full of debris, installed new floors, repaired ceilings and sandblasted brick walls. The city of Duluth authorized permits for $835,000 in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning work in February 2015.

“We’re going slow, just making sure we get everything right,” said Mitchell Holmes. “They’re going to be very nice, upscale, smaller-size condominiums so people can afford them.”

Erik Koskinen – “Nothing Without You”

Michigan native Erik Koskinen has called Minneapolis home for the past eight years, but he has a long-running relationship with Duluth, having performed here frequently for nearly 20 years. He returns March 5 for a concert at Sacred Heart Music Center. The video above was shot live at the Turf Club in St. Paul on Dec. 15.

More Icy Fun

Since the previous ice-stacking video posted on PDD is nearing one-million views, here are two more. These were shot by Ryan Tischer.

Holy Hootenanners – “It’s Time to Let it Go”

Holy Hootenanners - It's Time to Let GoCheck out the new video from the title track of the Holy Hootenaners album It’s Time to Let it Go. The song was written by Colleen Myhre and the video was produced by Paul Marvin Arts.

This Week: Climbing, jamming, skiing and stick handling

PDD Calendar 2016 Feb 22-29

This week is a big one for sports enthusiasts. Hermantown faces off against Hibbing-Chisholm on Wednesday for the Section 7A boys hockey title, and Duluth East battles Grand Rapids on Thursday for the Section 7AA championship. The Duluth Climbers Coalition celebrates West Duluth’s newest parcel of parkland — Quarry Park — with three events: the kickoff is at Bent Paddle on Friday, the actual ice climbing is on Saturday at Quarry Park, and evening programs at Clyde Iron Works wrap it all up. Also on Saturday are the Tour du Luth cross-country ski event and the Harbor City Roller Dames Winter Wonder Jam Double Header.

In the realm of music, the Dotys perform a Matinee Musicale concert at the Depot on Tuesday, Bill Staines plays his annual Amazing Grace show on Friday, Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls play the Grand Minnesota Taste-Together in Hinckley on Saturday, and that show’s opener, 16-year-old singer Madi Davis, performs at Mitchell Auditorium on Sunday.

There are also numerous literary events this week, and a slew of seminars about everything from the textile community in Telemark, Norway, to the Northern Lights Express.

Duluth’s Sunbeam Theatre

Sunbeam Theatre Duluth 1915

At the top of the “theaters just about no living person has heard of” category is Duluth’s Sunbeam Theatre, located at 109 W. Superior St. from 1908 to 1922. The Minnesota Reflections website notes “the silent film Highbrow Love was out in 1913. In 1922 the motion picture theater the Astor took that address, and the Sunbeam moved to 103 W. Superior St., where it remained until 1930.”

PDD Quiz: Presidents in Duluth

William Howard TaftNext week the quiz will be a review of Duluth happenings in February 2016. Send your suggested quiz questions (and answers) to lawrence @ perfectduluthday.com by noon on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

The Adjustments – “North Shore Sinner” Parts III and IV

The Adjustments are releasing their second studio album, At North Shore, with two concerts in the region. The Iron Range release party is tonight at Tommy’s Rainy Lake Saloon & Deli. The Duluth release party is March 11 at Carmody Irish Pub.

Abortion Contest

Anna Tennis Saturday EssayIn 2003, George W. Bush was running for re-election. (I don’t want to talk about whether or not this was a re-election campaign or an election campaign, after the Florida funny business. I’m just glad he’s not the president now.) The campaign was ugly. The issues were suddenly intensely divisive and personal — particularly where Roe v. Wade was concerned. You couldn’t turn the radio on without hearing ferocious, fervent diatribes surrounding the issue of legal abortion. I was accustomed to avoiding the conversation, and, hopefully, allowing each person to reconcile their own reproductive decisions between themselves and God or whomever they like to reconcile themselves to.

But it was all over the radio and television, in conversation overheard in bank teller lines and grocery stores, and, it turns out, on the playground. My son was only 9 years old. I’m not sure how the political pogwank wove itself into playground diatribe — perhaps between games of four-square and soggy rectangle pizza slices, the little ones polarized and debated the benefits and disadvantages of prison reform and estate tax in hissed, lispy whispers. Anyway. I think it was sometime around October? The campaign rhetoric was bitter, loud, and everywhere. I fielded ten kabillion questions from my son about everything from homosexuality to terrorism, providing spanky PBS answers, neatly avoiding genitals, hate, and murder. Then, one day, as I drove us to the grocery store, my son piped up, “Mom, what’s an abortion?”

The Social Animals – “Let Me Go”

This video was removed from YouTube

The Social Animals is a band that formed in Duluth and now resides in Nashville. This live studio video features a song from the group’s not-yet-released second album, recorded at Type Foundry Studios in Portland, Ore. The band plans to return to Duluth in May to play the Homegrown Music Festival.

Ethnographic Study of Indigenous Contributions to Duluth

Design DuluthLast night at Gimajii, the Design Duluth meeting sponsored by the DAI shared copies of An Ethnographic Study of Indigenous Contributions to the City of Duluth — a fascinating document that invites us to think about the erasure of indigenous participation and contributions to Duluth culture — and to appreciate those contributions and participation even more heartily.

Selective Focus: Elders

Christine Dean

Christine Dean, “Shuffleboard”

Last year my folks moved into senior housing. While it must have been traumatic to leave a home of 45 years, to abandon treasures from a lifetime of travels, and to part with thousands of photographs, they’ve created a miniature version of the life they knew, and found friends who were similarly diminished — but not lain low.

Video Archive: 1986 Denfeld Hockey

Denfeld 1986 Hockey DNT photo by John RottWith high school hockey playoffs underway this week, PDD takes a look back 30 years to Denfeld’s first trip to the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament. The video above includes TV news clips of Denfeld’s Section 2 playoff wins (2-1 over Duluth East, 8-2 over St. Cloud Apollo and 6-2 over Anoka). The photo at left is from the victory over Anoka, shot by John Rott of the Duluth News Tribune (as featured in the DNT archives).

Low – “Into You”

New video for a song from the 2015 release Ones and Sixes. Directed by Jim Burns and Beth Chalmers.

The Vintage Kitchen serves up cheap eats and antiques

Vintage Kitchen, photo by Lissa Maki

Ron Garatz and Wally Berg, owners of the Vintage Kitchen

A charming little diner in Duluth’s Endion neighborhood is serving up homestyle food on colorful, classic Formica tables. But what truly makes the Vintage Kitchen distinctive is that antique furnishings and décor are also on the menu.